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A HISTORY OF THE 

WOMEN MARINES, 

1946-1977 







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§ HEADQUARTERS, US. MARINE CORPS 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 



COVER: On 4 November 1948, the Com- 
mandant of the Marine Corps, Gen Clifton 
B. Cates administers the oath to the first three 
women to be sworn into the Regular Marine 
Corps. They are (left to right) LtCol Kather- 
ine A. Towle, Maj Julia E. Hamblet, and IstLt 
Mary J. Hale. 



A HISTORY OF THE 

WOMEN MARINES, 

1946-1977 

by 
Colonel Mary V. Stremlow, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 




HISTORY AND MUSEUMS DIVISION 

HEADQUARTERS, US. MARINE CORPS 

WASHINGTON, DC. 

1986 



PCN 19000309400 



For sale by the Superintendent or Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington. D.C. 20402 



Foreword 



Despite the acknowledged contribution made by the 20,000 women Reservists who served in the 
Marine Corps during World War II, there was no thought in 1946 of maintaining women on active 
duty or, for that matter, even in the Reserve forces. This volume recounts the events that brought 
about the change in thinking on the part of Marines, both men and women, that led to the integra- 
tion of women into the Corps, to the point where they now constitute eight percent of our strength. 

The project was the idea of Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer, who, in 1975, as the last Direc- 
tor of Women Marines, noted that the phasing out of women-only organizations marked the start 
of a new era for women in the Corps, and the end of an old one. Further, she rightly reasoned that 
the increased assimilation of women would make the historical trail of women in Marine Corps difficult 
to follow. 

The story is drawn from official reports, documents, personal interviews, and transcribed remi- 
niscences collected by the author and preserved by the Oral History and Archives Sections of the 
History and Museums Division. 

The pattern set during World War II of calling women Reservists "WRs" was followed after the 
passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act in 1948 by referring to the women as "Women 
Marines," or more often as "WMs." In the mid-1970s there was a mood to erase all appearances 
of a separate organization for women in the Marine Corps and an effort was made to refer to the 
women simply as Marines. When it was necessary to distinguish between the sexes, the noun "wom- 
an" with a lower case "w M was used as an adjective. Thus, throughout the text the terms "WR" and 
"WM" are used only when dictated by the context. 

The comment edition of this manuscript was read by many Marines, men and women, who were 
directly associated with the events. All but one of the former Directors of Women Marines con- 
tributed to the work and reviewed the manuscript draft. Unfortunately, Colonel Katherine A. Towle 
was too ill to participate. 

The author, Colonel Mary V. Stremlow, now a retired Reservist, has a bachelor of science degree 
from New York State University College at Buffalo. She counts three other women Marines in her 
family — two aunts, Corporal Rose M. Nigro and Master Sergeant Petrina C. Nigro, who served as 
WRs in World War II, and her sister, retired Major Carol Vertalino Diliberto. Colonel Stremlow 
came to the History and Museums Division in 1976 with experience as a company commander; S-3; 
executive officer of Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island; inspector-instructor of Wom- 
en Reserve Platoon, 2d Infantry Battalion, Boston; instructor at the Woman Officer School, Quanti- 
co; and woman officer selection officer for the 1st Marine Corps District. 

In the interests of accuracy and objectivity, the History and Museums Division welcomes com- 
ments on this history from interested individuals. 



.^c 



4*ir**o 



E. H. SIMMONS 

Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) 

Director of Marine Corps History and Museums 



in 



Preface 



A History of the Women Marines, 1946-1977 is almost entirely derived from raw files, interviews 
and conversations, newspaper articles, muster rolls and unit diaries, and materials loaned by Ma- 
rines, There was no one large body of records available. In the course of the project, more than 
300 letters were written to individuals, several mass mailings were made, and notices soliciting infor- 
mation were printed in all post and station newspapers, Leatherneck, Marine Corps Gazette, Retired 
Marine, and the newsletters of Marine Corps associations. More than 100 written responses were 
received and some women Marines generously loaned us personal papers and precious scrapbooks. 
Especially helpful in piecing together the events between World War II and the passage of the Wom- 
en's Armed Services Integration Act were the scrapbooks of former Director of Women Marines Colonel 
Julia E. Hamblet, and former WR Dorothy M. Munroe. Taped interviews were conducted with 32 
women, including former Director of the Women's Reserve Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter. 

Researching this history was a challenge. Women's units were extremely difficult to find. Only 
those labeled "Women Marine Company" were easily identified. At times, days were spent screen- 
ing the muster rolls of all the companies of all the battalions on a base looking for one with person- 
nel having feminine first names. More recent unit diaries were even less useful since they are not 
signed by commanding officers and initials are used rather than first names. To add to the problem, 
the Corps had no system that permits a researcher to find a married woman when only her maiden 
name is known, or vice versa. 

The author and the women Marines whose story is told in this monograph owe a special debt 
of gratitude to Master Sergeant Laura J, Dennis, USMCR, now retired, who from January to October 
1977 voluntarily worked several days a week at the History and Museums Division, doing the pains- 
taking research that resulted in the publication of much more material than would have been other- 
wise possible. Had it not been for her tenacity and dogged determination, easily 100 names, now 
documented for posterity, would not have made it to these pages. She tracked vague but important 
leads that the author, because of limited time allowed for the study, could not. Later, as a civilian 
volunteer, she shepherded the work through the comment edition stage and assisted in the search 
and final selection of photographs. 

Master Sergeant Dennis also induced Colonel Agnes M, Kennedy, USMCR, to volunteer for the 
difficult task of indexing the manuscript. In the process, Colonel Kennedy further assisted in check- 
ing and verifying hundreds of names cited. Her own experience as a Marine officer enabled her also 
to make other valuable comments. 

The manuscript was prepared under the editorial direction of Mr. Henry I. Shaw, Jr., chief historian 
of the History and Museums Division, Teacher and mentor, he encouraged the author to take the 
step from merely parroting a string of facts to presenting interpretations as appeared justified. More 
than 100 Marines reviewed the draft edition and, thanks in large measure to Mr, Shaw's expert 
guidance, few took issue with the historical facts or the interpretations of those facts. 

The author also received valuable assistance from Mrs. Catherine A. Kerns, of the division's Pub- 
lications Production Section, who prepared the typeset version of the manuscript, offering numer- 
ous stylistic suggestions in the process, and who was particularly helpful in the rendering of captions 



for photographs and in designing the tables which appear both within the text and in the appen- 
dices. Thanks also are due to Mr. W, Stephen Hill, the division's graphic artist, who is the book's 
designer, and who prepared all of the boards used in printing. His contribution has been to enhance 
the usefulness of the book by making its appearance especially attractive. 



MARY V. STREMLOW 
Colonel, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve 



Table of Contents 



Page 

Foreword iii 

Preface v 

Table of Contents vii 

Introduction 1 

CHAPTER 1 A Time of Uncertainty, 1946-1948 3 

A Time of Uncertainty 3 

Postwar Women's Reserve Board 4 

Termination of the Wartime MCWR 5 

Retention of the WRs at HQMC 5 

A New Director 6 

The Volunteer Women's Reserve 7 

4th Anniversary Celebration, 13 February 1947 7 

The Women's VTUs 8 

Plans for the Organized Reserve 11 

Release of the WRs Delayed Again 11 

Stenographers Recalled 13 

CHAPTER 2 Women's Armed Forces Legislation: Public Law 625 15 

Women's Armed Forces Legislation 15 

Provisions of Public Law 625 18 

CHAPTER 3 Going Regular 21 

The Transfer Program 21 

Establishing the Office and Title, Director of Women Marines 23 

The First Enlisted Women Marines 24 

The Pioneers 25 

Reindoctrination of the Officers 25 

Reindoctrination of Enlisted WMs 26 

Designation of Women Marines 27 

Recruit Training Established at Parris Island 27 

The First Black Women Marines 31 

Establishing the Women Officers' Training Class at Quantico 33 

CHAPTER 4 The Korean War Years 39 

Organized Reserve Gets Underway 39 

Mission and Administration 39 

The First Seven WR Platoons 40 

Add Six More Platoons 42 

Mobilization of Organized Reserve Units, Korea 44 

Volunteer Reservists Answer the Call 46 

Women Marines Return to Posts and Stations 46 



Vlll 



Korean War Brings Changes to Recruit Training 53 

A Few Changes at Officer Candidates School 53 

The Korean Years, Reprise 54 

CHAPTER 5 Utilization and Numbers, 1951-1963 57 

Utilization of Women Marines, Evolution of a Policy 57 

Report of Procedures Analysis Office, 1951 57 

Women Officers' MOSs, 1948-1953 60 

1950-1953 Summary 62 

1954-1964 62 

Numbers 62 

Utilization, 1954-1964 62 

Rank Does Not Have Its Privileges, Officers 63 

Rank Does Not Have Its Privileges, Staff Noncommissioned Officers 65 

Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School 65 

A Woman in the Fleet Marine Force 68 

1954-1964 Summary 68 

CHAPTER 6 Utilization and Numbers: Pepper Board, 1964-1972 69 

The Pepper Board 71 

Women Marine Program Revitalized, 1965-1973 73 

Strength Increases 73 

Women Officers Specialist Training, 1965-1973 74 

Women Lawyers and Judges, A Beginning 75 

Professional Training 76 

Amphibious Warfare School 76 

Post-Graduate Schooling 76 

Command and Staff College 76 

The Armed Forces Staff College 77 

Advanced Training and Assignment of Enlisted Woman Marines, 1965-1973 • • • 77 

New Woman Marine Units, Stateside 78 

Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow 78 

Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany 79 

Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe 79 

Women Marines Overseas 79 

Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni 80 

Marine Corps Air Station, Futema, Okinawa 81 

Marine Corps Base, Camp Butler, Okinawa 81 

Women Marines in Vietnam 83 

Women Marines in Marine Security Guard Battalion 87 

Women Marines Overseas, Summary 87 

CHAPTER 7 Utilization and Numbers: Snell Committee, 1973-1977 89 

Strength, 1973-1977 90 

New Occupational Fields 90 

Military Police 91 

Presiding Judges 92 

Breaking the Tradition 93 

Bandsmen 94 

Women Marines in the Fleet Marine Force 95 



Women in Command 98 

1973-1977, Summary 100 

CHAPTER 8 Reserves After Korea 101 

Deactivation of the WR Platoons 104 

Woman Special Enlistment Program 104 

Strength 106 

Women Reserve Officers 106 

Formal Training for Women Reservists 106 

CHAPTER 9 Recruit Training 109 

Mission 109 

The Training Program 109 

Arrival at Parris Island 113 

The Daily Routine 114 

Recruit Regulations 116 

Recruit Evaluation and Awards 120 

WM Complex 123 

Command Reorganized 124 

CHAPTER 10 Officer Training 125 

Location 125 

Training Program 126 

Traditions 127 

Awards 129 

1973-1977 129 

Towards Total Integration 132 

Second Platoon, Company C, BC 3-77 135 

CHAPTER 11 Administration of Women 137 

Supervision and Guidance of Women Marines 139 

Barracks 141 

Daily Routine 143 

Discipline 144 

CHAPTER 12 Promotions 145 

Public Law 90-130 145 

Enlisted Promotions 148 

CHAPTER 13 Marriage, Motherhood, and Dependent Husbands 151 

Marriage 15 1 

Motherhood 151 

Dependency Regulations 154 

The Military Couple 155 

Marine Wife, Civilian Husband 155 

CHAPTER 14 Uniforms 157 

The Beginnings of Change, 1950 159 

The Mainbocher Wardrobe, 1950-1952 161 



After Mainbocher 164 

Grooming and Personal Appearance 167 

Utilities 168 

CHAPTER 15 Laurels and Traditions 169 

Legion of Merit 169 

Navy and Marine Corps Medal 169 

Bronze Star Medal 172 

Joint Service Commendation Medal 172 

Dominican Republic 173 

WM Anniversary 174 

Women Marines and Mess Night 177 

Molly Marine 177 

Women Marines Association 180 

CHAPTER 16 The Sergeants Major of Women Marines 181 

Bertha L. Peters 182 

Evelyn E. Albert 182 

Ouida W. Craddock 184 

Mabel A. R. Otten 184 

June V. Andler 185 

Grace A. Carle 186 

CHAPTER 17 The Directors of Women Marines 187 

Katherine A. Towle 187 

Julia E. Hamblet 189 

Margaret M. Henderson 190 

Barbara J. Bishop 191 

Jeanette L Sustad 192 

Margaret A. Brewer 193 

The Position 194 

Notes 197 

Appendices 207 

A. Women Marines Strength, 1948-1977 207 

B. Occupational Fields for Women Officers 209 

C. Occupational Fields for Enlisted Women 211 

D. Women Marine Units, 1946-1977 213 

E. Women Marines Who Served in Vietnam, 1967-1973 225 

F. Enlisted Women Marines Retained After World War II 

Who Served Until Retirement 227 

Index 229 



Introduction 



"The opinion generally held by the Marine Corps 
is that women have no proper place or function in the 
regular service in peace-time. This opinion is con- 
curred in by the Director of Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve, and a majority of the Women Reserves." 1 In 
these words, Brigader General Gerald C. Thomas, 
Director, Division of Plans and Policies in October 
1945, stated the basic Marine Corps case against wom- 
en on active duty. He elaborated his stand with the 
contention, "The American tradition is that a wom- 
an's place is in the home . . . ." and, "Women do 
not take kindly to military regimentation. During the 
war they have accepted the regulations imposed on 
them, but hereafter the problem of enforcing dis- 
cipline alone would be a headache." 2 

The controversy over what to do with the women 
had been going on for months before the hostilities 
of World War II ended. It was a problem — an emo- 
tional one at that — which had to be faced. It was 
agreed that the Women Reserves (WRs) had suc- 
cessfully met the challenge of military service. At the 
close of the war, working in 225 specialties in 16 out 
of 21 functional fields, WRs constituted 85 percent 
of the enlisted personnel at Headquarters Marine 
Corps and one-half to two-thirds of the permanent 
personnel at all large Marine Corps posts and stations. 3 
It was generally acknowledged that it had been neces- 
sary to activate a women's unit for wartime duty; it 
was safe to assume that women would be called upon 
in any future, major emergency; most Marines, 
however, men and women, displayed a marked lack 
of enthusiasm toward the prospect of women in the 
postwar Marine Corps. The men were understand- 
ably reluctant to admit women permanently into one 
of the few remaining male-dominated societies, and 
the senior women officers were concerned about the 
type of women who would volunteer. Colonel Ruth 
C. Streeter, wartime Director of the Marine Corps 
Women Reserves (MCWR), believed that there was 
a difference in the women who enlisted for purely 
patriotic reasons due to the war, and those who en- 
listed after the G.I. Bill was passed — those who joined 
for what they could get for themselves. 4 



The pressure to give peacetime military status to 
women came from the other services, most notably 
the Navy. In the summer of 1945, the Secretary of 
the Navy, James V. Forrestal, made the statement, 
"The Navy favors retention, at least in cadre strength, 
of the WAVES, as well as SPARS and the Marine Aux- 
iliary."* 

Hoping to keep the Marine Corps out of any grand- 
scale plan for maintaining a women's corps in peace- 
time, Colonel Streeter developed a plan for an inac- 
tive Women's Reserve to be administered by no more 
than 10 women officers on active duty. On the ac- 
companying routing sheet, she pencilled: 

These comments are submitted at this time because there 
is considerable agitation in the Navy in favor of keeping 
WAVES on active duty in peacetime. It comes mostly from 
BuAir, Communications, and Hospital Corps. The WAVES 
themselves are much opposed to the plan. 5 

Colonel Streeter, tempered by her experience in 
building a wartime women's organization from noth- 
ing, took a very practical approach to the matter. She 
recognized that in planning a Reserve of women, 
wastage was going to occur because many of the wom- 
en trained for military service would marry and have 
children, but this was a loss which would have to be 
accepted if women were truly needed. Indeed, if war 
threatened, even mothers could give a few months' 
active service for recruiting and training programs until 
enough new women Marines were ready to carry on. 

By December 1945, General Thomas' division had 
developed a detailed plan for training a postwar, in- 
active, Volunteer MCWR (VMCWR) of 500 officers 



*In 1943, when women joined the Marine Corps, the Director 
of Reserve, Colonel Littleton W. T. Waller, wrote to Representative 
Louis L. Ludlow of Indiana: ". . . these women will not be aux- 
iliary, but members of the Marine Corps Reserve which is an in- 
tegral part of the Corps and as . . . they will be performing many 
duties of Marines it was felt they should be so known." Col Little- 
ton W. T. Waller, Jr., ltr to Hon. Louis L. Ludlow, dtd 8Feb43. 
(File 1535-55-10, Female Enrollment Marine Corps Reserve No. 1, 
Central Files, HQMC). Thus, the term auxiliary used by the secre- 
tary was incorrect. 



INTRODUCTION 



and 4,500 enlisted women, that would provide a guments against retention . . . preclude any further 

nucleus of ready WRs capable of being expanded discussion in favor of women being kept on active 

rapidly into a war-strength organization. In the in- duty." 6 In the eyes of the leading Marines, the case 

troduction to this plan it was bluntly stated, "The ar- was closed. 



CHAPTER 1 

A Time of Uncertainty, 1946-1948 

A Time of Uncertainty — Postwar Women's Reserve Board— Termination of the Wartime MCWR 

Retention of the WRs at HQMC—A New Director —The Volunteer Women's Reserve 

4th Anniversary Celebration, 13 February 1947 '—The Women's VTUs — Plans for the Organized Reserve 

Release of the WRs Delayed Again — Stenographers Recalled 



A Time of Uncertainty 

At the end of the war in August 1945, the strength 
of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was approxi- 
mately 17,640 enlisted women and 820 officers. 
Demobilization procedures for women called for the 
mandatory resignation or discharge of all WRs, officers 
and enlisted. Demobilization was to be completed by 
1 September 1946. 

Colonel Streeter, who felt strongly that no woman 
should remain after she was no longer needed, asked 
to be released. She resigned on 6 December 1945 and, 
the following day, her assistant, Lieutenant Colonel 
Katherine A. Towle was appointed the second Direc- 
tor of the wartime Marine Corps Women's Reserve and 
promoted to the rank of colonel. To Colonel Towle fell 
the dual responsibility of overseeing the demobiliza- 
tion of the women and planning for a postwar wom- 
en's organization. 

In the spring of 1946 there was a steady flow of cor- 
respondence between the Chief of Naval Personnel, 
Vice Admiral Louis E. Denfeld, and the Commandant 
of the Marine Corps (CMC), General Alexander A. 
Vandegrift. The Navy was making plans for a WAVE 
organization with 1,500 officers and 10,000 enlisted 
women on active duty. The Army had already public- 
ly announced its plan to give Regular status to the 
WACs. 1 The Commandant, however, stood firm. The 
only women Marines on active duty during peacetime 
would be "Director, VMCWR; OIC [Officer in 
Charge], Personnel; OIC, Planning and Training; OIC, 
Recruiting; six officers, one officer assigned to each 
Recruiting Division." 2 

Recognizing that some sort of women s military or- 
ganization was inevitable, and because legislation 
authorizing a women's inactive Reserve was pending, 
the Marine Corps no longer required WR officers to 
resign. Those still on active duty were allowed to re- 
quest assignment to inactive status, and those already 
separated were sent a letter asking them to reenlist 
in the Reserve and reminding them of the privileges 
and responsibilities of belonging to the Marine Corps 
Reserve. Upon request, they could be reappointed to 
the permanent rank held upon resignation. 3 



Former colonel Mrs. Streeter was one of the women 
who applied for a Reserve commission, but her request 
was denied because of a legal restriction that preclud- 
ed the appointment of more than one woman colonel 
in the Reserve. In fact, Mrs. Streeter, who saw the war- 
time Women's Reserve through all of its growing pains 
and its initial demobilization, had voluntarily given 
up terminal leave in order that her successor (then 
Lieutenant Colonel Towle) might immediately have 
the rank of colonel. The Commandant told Mrs. 
Streeter that he would recommend her to the Secre- 
tary of the Navy for reappointment in her rightful rank 
in the inactive Reserve, but the Navy Judge Advocate 
General held that there could be no exception. He 
later reversed his decision and Mildred H. McAfee Hor- 
ton, the WAVE Director, was given Reserve status as 
a captain* 

Colonel Joseph W. Knighton, legal aide to the 
Commandant, advised General Vandegrift on 13 
March 1946 of the Army's and the Navy's plans to keep 
women on active duty. They even allowed for women 
in their budgets — something that the Marine Corps 
was not to consider until after passage of the women's 
armed forces legislation in 1948. It was apparent that 
Admiral Denfeld was giving more than lip service to 
the support of women since he had instructed the Na- 



*Subsequently, efforts were made by Colonel Towle, and two Com- 
mandants, General Vandegrift and General Lemuel C. Shepherd, 
Jr., to straighten out the matter. It was not until 1959, however, 
through the persistence of Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, that this sit- 
uation was satisfactorily resolved. In a letter to the Chairman, Board 
for Corrections of Naval Records, the then Commandant, General 
Randolph McC. Pate, wrote: "Correction of Mrs. Streeter's records 
would erase an apparent inequity and allow her to be affiliated with 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve which she was so instrumental 
in establishing. This correction would afford the Commandant of 
the Marine Corps great satisfaction." (CMC ltr to Chairman, Bd for 
Corr of NavRecords, dtd 31Mar59 [Postwar MCWR J File}). He also 
wrote to Mrs. Streeter and said, "In view of your outstanding con- 
tribution to the Corps, I sincerely hope you will not deprive me 
of the opportunity of recommissioning you as a Colonel in the Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve." (Gen Randolph McC. Pate ltr to Mrs. Ruth C. 
Streeter, dtd 25Feb59 [Postwar MCWR 1 file}). And so, on 25 June 
1959, Ruth Cheney Streeter was reappointed a colonel in the Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve and retired. 

3 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



vy's judge advocate general to prepare a bill which 
would enable the Navy to have women in its Regular 
component. Colonel Knighton put two questions to 
the Commandant: 

(1) Does the Marine Corps want women in its regular peacetime 
establishment? (2) If the answer is negative, can the Marine Corps 
justify this stance if the Army and the Navy have come to the con- 
clusion that women should be included in their permanent estab- 
lishment? 4 

In response, the Plans and Policy Division recom- 
mended that the Marine Corps be excluded from the 
provisions of Denfeld's proposed legislation to provide 
Regular status for women because " . . the number 
of billets which could be filled to advantage by wom- 
en in the postwar Marine Corps is so limited that the 
increased administrative overhead could not be justi- 
fied." Although the Commandant approved this 
recommendation on 18 March, that was not the end 
of it. 

Postwar Women's Reserve Board 

Acting on a suggestion from Colonel Towle, on 28 
March 1946, General Vandegrift appointed Colonel 
Randolph McC. Pate, Director, Division of Reserve, 
senior member of a board to recommend policies for 
administration of women in the Marine Corps post- 
war Reserve structure. The board convened at Head- 
quarters, Marine Corps (HQMC) on 1 April and 
consisted of Colonel Pate, Colonel Richard C. Man- 
grum, Colonel Katherine A. Towle, and Major Ernest 
L. Medford, Jr., with Major Cornelia D. T. Williams 
and Major Marion Wing as additional members, and 
Captain Sarah M. Vardy as member and recorder. 5 

The report of this board, which was approved by 
the Commandant on 7 June, called for women to be 
included in both the Volunteer and Organized com- 
ponents of the Reserve. Enlisted women would be 
trained at unit meetings in home armories. Officers 
would train at an annual summer officer candidate 
school to be established at Quantico and then return 
home to participate in a Reserve unit. A total of 45 
officers and 32 enlisted women— all Reservists— would 
be assigned to continuous active duty to administer 
the program. It was spelled out that no woman would 
be allowed to remain on active duty longer than four 
years, and summer training was not considered neces- 
sary even for the organized Reservists. At the time of 
the study, only the volunteer, inactive status was le- 
gally possible and many of the 40 recommendations 
were based upon the premise that legislation would 



be passed authorizing inclusion of woman in the Or- 
ganized Reserve. Finally, the board recommended that 
a qualified woman Reservist of field grade be select- 
ed as soon as possible for the position of director and 
that she be appointed to the rank of colonel. 7 

Concurrence with the creation of a permanent wom- 
en's Reserve was unanimous. The staff comments, for 
the most part, dealt with minor administrative details. 
Colonel Knighton, however, spotted the weakness 
which would eventually alter the opinions of the lead- 
ing women officers. He recognized that the four-year 
active duty limit was impractical, and he stated: 

. . . where can you find a woman, unless she happens 
to be unemployed and hunting for a job, who would agree 
to serve on active duty for a short period? In peacetime house- 
wives will not volunteer, socialites will not be interested, and 
a woman who has to work for a living, unless she is tem- 
porarily looking for employment, will certainly not sign up 
for a few years of active duty in the Women's Reserve. 8 

Long before the board report was officially approv- 
ed, Colonel Towle outlined its main points in a state- 
ment she prepared for the Joint Army-Navy Personnel 
Board on 17 April, and for the 9 May House Naval 
Affairs Committee Hearings on H. R. Bill 5919, 'To 
amend the Naval Reserve Act of 1938, as amended so 
as to establish the Women's Reserve on a permanent 
basis . . . ."* 

By the time the bill was reported out of committee 
on 21 May, it had undergone some major changes. The 
next day, Admiral Denfeld wrote to Representative 
Margaret Chase Smith of Maine giving his views of 
what the legislation should embody. Due mainly to 
her efforts, the subsequent draft read: 

All laws or parts of laws which authorize the appointment 
of persons to commissioned grades or ranks in the Regular 
Navy and Regular Marine Corps and which authorize the 
enlistment of persons in the Regular Navy and Regular Ma- 
rine Corps should be construed to include the authority to 
appoint and enlist women in the Regular Navy and Regu- 
lar Marine Corps in the same manner and under the same 
conditions as such laws or parts of laws apply to the appoint- 
ment and enlistment of men. 9 

Now, like it or not, the Marine Corps was included. 
In the words of Victor Hugo, "No army can withstand 
the strength of an idea whose time has come." 10 



*See Chapter 2 for a more detailed discussion of the Women's 
Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948 (P.L. 625). 



A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 




Marine Corps Commandant Gen A, A. Vandegrift (center) is shown with Col Katherine 
A. Towle (right) and Col Ruth C. Streeter (left) in December 1945. ColTowle has just 
succeeded Col Streeter as the post-war Director, Marine Corps Women s Reserve. 



Termination of the Wartime MCWR 

The office of the wartime MCWR was closed on 15 
June 1946 when Colonel Towle began her terminal 
leave. Before leaving the Marine Corps to return to 
the University of California's Berkeley campus as ad- 
ministrative assistant to the vice president and pro- 
vost, Colonel Towle proposed the name of Major Julia 
E. Hamblet to be director of the women's postwar or- 
ganization. She wrote: 

It is believed that Major Hamblet has all the attributes 
and qualifications desirable in a director of a postwar MCWR. 
She is a college graduate, about 30 years of age (which is 
considered a great advantage in appealing to volunteers 
among younger women, especially those of college age), of 
fine appearance, with a great deal of natural dignity and 
poise, and has an outstanding service record and reputation. 
She has had experience in both line and aviation assignments 
and has served in the present MCWR since her commission- 
ing in the First Officers' Class in May 1943- 11 



The recommendation of Major Hamblet to head up 
the postwar MCWR was acknowledged and held in 
abeyance. 

Turning to another matter, Colonel Towle suggested 
that her assistant, Captain Mary V. Illich, continue 
duty in the Personnel Department to take care of the 
work incident to the termination of the office of the 
director. Captain Illich and one private first class were 
assigned the task of tying up the administrative de- 
tails of the wartime Women's Reserve and were expect- 
ed to finish by 15 July 1946. 

Retention of the WRs at HQMC 

It is ironic that only two months earlier, on 14 June, 
in a report on the state of the MCWR to the Director 
of Personnel, Colonel Towle wrote: 

General morale during demobilization has been gratify- 
ingly high. Part of this had been due to the definite stand 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



the Marine Corps itself had taken from the beginning on 
MCWR demobilization, particularly in setting and main- 
taining 1 September as the terminal date of the wartime 
Women's Reserve. It had been a goal to work toward, and 
Marine Corps women have never had the uncertainty and 
confusion concerning demobilization which have occurred 
in some of the other women's services because of the shif- 
ting of date and changes in policy. 12 

Most of the WRs still on active duty in the summer 
of 1946 were working at Headquarters on the adminis- 
trative job of demobilization of the wartime Marine 
Corps, In spite of the general feeling against reten- 
tion of women in the Marine Corps, individual work 
supervisors were anxious to keep their women on the 
job. As the September deadline for the release of all 
WRs neared, case after case of exception was request- 
ed. Few were granted, but this activity not only kept 
Captain Illich on the job, but also on 30 August gave 
her an assistant, First Lieutenant Mary Janice Hale* 

This appointment followed a major change in policy 
announced on 7 August 1946 when the Commandant 
authorized the retention on active duty at HQMC, on 
a voluntary basis, of 100 WRs for a period of eight 
months. These women, clerk typists, payroll clerks, 
and auditors, were to be assigned to a new division 
of the Personnel Department established to administer 
the Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946, One officer would 
be retained to command a company to be activated 
on 1 September, all of whose members would live off 
post and be placed on subsistence and quarters al- 
lowances. The last of the WR barracks was finally 
closed. As an inducement to apply, privates first class 
who were accepted would be automatically promoted 
to corporal, 13 

The next day, 8 August, the Commandant autho- 
rized the retention of 200 additional WRs until 30 
June 1947. It was specified that these women ", , , must 
have clerical, stenographic or other specific ability (no 
cooks, truck drivers, hairdressers, etc., unless they have 
a secondary clerical specification)" 14 

Company E, 1st Headquarters Battalion, Head- 
quarters, U.S. Marine Corps, commanded by First 
Lieutenant Regina M, Durant, was activated on 19 Au- 
gust 1946 with a strength of 12 officers and 286 en- 
listed women, with Master Sergeant Geraldine M, 
Moran as first sergeant. 



*Lieutenant Colonel Hale, who retired in March 1964, is the only 
woman officer to have served on continuous active duty from World 
War II until the completion of a 20-year career. 



A New Director 

Major Julia E, Hamblet had served as assistant for 
the Women's Reserve from December 1945 until she 
was released from active duty in April 1946. She had 
never considered the military as a career and was very 
much in favor of the Marine Corps plan for women 
in organized and volunteer Reserve units. 

While in England visiting her family, Major Ham- 
blet, as other Marine veterans, received numerous let- 
ters from Headquarters Marine Corps, The familiar 
brown envelopes contained words of thanks and ap- 
preciation for wartime service, advice regarding vete- 
ran's benefits, a request to keep in contact with the 
Reserve District commander, and information regard- 
ing the planning for the postwar Reserve, 

In mid-June 1946, rushing to an appointment from 
her brother's London home, she found yet another 
message from Headquarters, In a hurry, she put it in 
her purse and promptly forgot it. Nearly a week later, 
while at a party, she remembered the letter and 
opened it to find that it was not the routine form let- 
ter she had come to expect. Instead it was a personal 
letter to her from the Commandant, General Van- 
degrift. 

In the letter he explained the plan to establish wom- 
en as part of the Organized Reserve and to maintain 
on active duty a limited number of women Reservists 
to adminster the program. He stated: 

Because of your record and experience in the present Ma- 
rine Corps Women's Reserve, you have been selected to fill 
the position of Director of the postwar Women's Reserve, 
and it is hoped that you will be interested in accepting this 
appointment. If you do accept, it is desired that you be avail- 
able for duty at Headquarters Marine Corps not later than 
1 September 1946. You will understand, of course, that the 
continuance of a postwar Women's Reserve and the position 
of Director are contingent upon the enactment of enabling 
legislation by the Congress which is currently giving it con- 
sideration. 

A prompt reply will be appreciated. 15 

Had she not immediately thereafter received letters 
from both Colonels Streeter and Towle expressing their 
pleasure at her selection and their concern for the fu- 
ture of the MCWR, Major Hamblet's first inclination 
would have been to refuse the appointment. Rather, 
on 25 June, she wrote to the Commandant and ac- 
cepted. 

Due to the difficulty in obtaining transportation 
from England at the time, she asked to be activated 
there, so that she could travel on military orders, 16 Ex- 
isting laws did not permit members of the MCWR to 



A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 



be on active duty anywhere outside the United States 
except Hawaii. Therefore, she was informed that she 
could not be assigned to duty until her return. 17 Major 
Hamblet reported to the Division of Reserve, Head- 
quarters Marine Corps on 6 September 1946, and be- 
came the Director, MCWR. 

At this time two distinct women Marine programs 
existed with the sex of their members as the only com- 
mon denominator. At Headquarters, the several 
hundred retained wartime WRs continued to work on 
administrative matters unrelated to the MCWR. These 
women were under the cognizance of Captain Illich 
in the Personnel Division. Then there was Major Ham- 
blet in the Division of Reserve concerned with initiat- 
ing detailed planning for a postwar, inactive Reserve. 
Inevitably, some confusion arose. In a study dated 8 
October, Major Hamblet wrote: 

The relationship of the undersigned to the 286 enlisted 
women and 5 officers retained on active duty after 1 Sep- 
tember 1946 for assignment other than MCWR postwar plan- 
ning is not at present clear. It would seem evident, however, 
that the powers assigned to the Director, MCWR, should 
be exercised in relation to all women reservists, on whatever 
basis they may be serving. 18 

Clarification was soon made, in no uncertain terms, 
in a Headquarters Memorandum of 16 October 1946 
which stated the policy for the administration of the 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve. The wording was pre- 
cise and unequivocal, and it was the foundation of a 
policy that was to last for more than 25 years. The 
Commandant directed: 

That all matters of policy and procedure pertaining to the 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve, which are initiated by any 
department or division of Headquarters Marine Corps, be 
referred to the Director, MCWR, for comment and 
recommendation. In regard to matters of policy, such refer- 
ence shall be made prior to submission to the Comman- 
dant of the Marine Corps for approval; in matters of 
procedure, such reference shall be made prior to execution. 19 

The Volunteer Women's Reserve 

With a staff of two women, First Lieutenant Mary 
J. Hale and Technical Sergeant Dolores M. Adam, 
Major Hamblet began her work. She faced the task 
totally committed to the urgency of obtaining as soon 
as possible the nucleus of a postwar women's Reserve. 
Her visit to England and France during the summer 
convinced her that the world situation was still unset- 
tled and that greater utilization of womanpower in the 
U.S. military would be required in the event of another 
war. As a member of the first officer training class in 



the wartime MCWR, she saw the difficulties of build- 
ing up such an organization after an emergency had 
already occurred. In 1943, the Marine Corps had been 
forced to rely on civilian facilities and Navy person- 
nel to get its women's program started. Worse, male 
Marines, needed for combat, were used instead to train 
women. 

Major Hamblet recognized that the unclear status 
of the women's legislation in 1946 jeopardized the suc- 
cess of a women's Reserve. The long and uncertain de- 
lay allowed former women Reservists to become 
absorbed in their civilian interests and lessened the 
chance of their enlisting in a future Reserve. 

She questioned the necessity of waiting until the 
legislation was actually passed before taking positive 
action. There was reasonable doubt about the legali- 
ty of an Organized Reserve but she believed that no 
such obstacle blocked the creation of a Volunteer 
Reserve. Indeed, the WAVES were, at that time, reen- 
listing women for full-time active duty in the Volun- 
teer Reserve. 

Pending the enactment of permissive legislation, 
Major Hamblet urged immediate enlistment of as 
many former members of the MCWR as possible in 
a volunteer status since, she reasoned: 

These women already have had indoctrination and train- 
ing; and those among them who do desire could later transfer 
to an " 'Organized Reserve," if one were activated. Meanwhile, 
they would at least constitute a roster of trained personnel, 
available for active duty if the need arose. 20 

A step in this direction was taken on 23 December 
with the publication of Marine Corps Letter of In- 
struction 1391, authorizing the enlistment of former 
women Reservists in the Marine Corps Reserve. This 
was part of a purposeful effort to maintain contact 
with the women who had served so well in World War 
II. The intention was to keep the women interested 
and predisposed to join a volunteer or organized unit 
when legally possible. Furthermore, it supplied the 
Corps with a pool of ready, trained volunteers. The 
first enlistment contract received was that of Staff Ser- 
geant Elizabeth Janet Steele, who, a few months later, 
activated and commanded Volunteer Training Unit 
3-l(WR), New York, New York. 21 

4th Anniversary Celebration, IS February 1947 

Keeping in touch with former WRs became a task 
of giant proportions for the three women — Major 
Hamblet, Lieutenant Hale, and Sergeant Adam. They 
drew the cases of nearly all the 18,000 World War II 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



women Reservists and personally reviewed each one 
in order to compile an up-to-date roster with current 
addresses. Ostensibly, this list was to be used in de- 
termining the geographic areas best suited for future 
Organized Reserve units, but it was put to a more im- 
mediate use in planning a celebration in honor of the 
fourth anniversary of the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve. 22 

Selected officers in 25 cities were asked to accept 
chairmanship of these birthday parties and were pro- 
vided with the names of officers and capable NCOs 
in their area. They were told: 

In order to afford continuity to the MCWR it is impor- 
tant that we have anniversary parties all over the country this 
year and bring together again as many as possible of the form- 
er WR's, both officers and enlisted personnel. . . . Because 
there has been such a delay in getting the postwar program 
underway, it is just that much more important that we do 
a bang-up job on February 13th. ... It is realized what an 
undertaking this will be, but the dividends in the form of 
the goodwill of former WR's (which we are most anxious 
to have!) will be tremendous. 23 

Since no funds were provided, many of these officers 
and NCOs used their own money for stationery and 
postage in order to contact the veterans. 

Birthday greetings were sent to individual women 
Reservists reminding them that this was the time to 
recall friendship and experiences. "Get out the 
uniform — dust off the moth balls, let out the seams, 
roll up the hair and gather round to rehash the Ma- 
rine Corps days," they were told. 24 

More than 2,500 WRs attended the parties in 22 
cities and at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry 
Point, North Carolina, San Francisco, where 395 wom- 
en gathered under the chairmanship of First Lieu- 
tenant Pearl Martin to hear the guest speaker, Colonel 
Towle, was the site of the largest celebration. Another 
coup was scored by Captain Mildred Dupont and the 
New York WRs when former Colonel Streeter agreed 
to be the honored guest and to help cut the tradi- 
tional birthday cake. 

The Marine Corps Women's Reserve Post 907, 
American Legion, in Chicago sponsored a grand event 
in the Gold Room of the Congress Hotel. The com- 
mittee was headed by First Lieutenant Dorothy R. 
Dietz. Captain Emma H. Hendrickson (later dow- 
ers), who was to become one of the first 20 Regular 
women Marine officers in November 1948, read con- 
gratulatory messages from Headquarters and spoke to 
the group of the plans to utilize women in the 
Reserves. 



The Washington, D.C. area celebration was unique 
in that it was attended by former WRs, inactive wom- 
en Reservists, and numbers of women still on active 
duty. 

The fourth anniversary parties accomplished their 
mission. In addition to being occasions of much fun 
and recall, they provided Headquarters with a roster 
of former WRs who were still interested in the Ma- 
rine Corps and a nucleus of officers and NCOs who 
were able organizers. 

The Women's VTUs 

Authorization for the formation of volunteer train- 
ing units (VTUs) came on 9 January 1947 in Letter 
of Instruction 1397. The objective of this program was 
to develop a " . . pool of efficient general duty, staff 
and specialist personnel which, on call, can fill needs 
for individuals or groups in an emergency." 25 . In ord- 
er to form a VTU, a group of 10 Reservists, commis- 
sioned or enlisted, male or female, was required. 
Women could, of course, join a unit already estab- 
lished by men. 

The appeal was made almost entirely to patriotism 
and esprit de corps. The Marine Corps Reserve recruit- 
ing material offered membership, tradition, and pres- 
tige of the Corps, credit toward promotion in rank, 
social and athletic activities, a lapel pin, and an I.D. 
card. Attendance and participation were voluntary and 
members could not be called to active duty without 
their consent except in the event of war or national 
emergency. Reservists would retain the rank held on 
discharge, and only male members would be eligible 
for periods of active duty. 26 

There was considerable latitude allowed in planning 
a VTU training schedule. Units could specialize in one 
field, such as intelligence, communications, photog- 
raphy, etc., or follow a more general pattern. A general 
unit might emphasize lectures on current world 
problems, and a women's unit might spend all its time 
giving clerical assistance to the male Marine Reservists. 

Seattle has the distinction of being the home of the 
first women's Volunteer Training Unit— VTU 
13-12(WR) — established in January 1947 and com- 
manded by Captain Nancy M. Roberts. 



In November 1947, Maj 'Julia E. Hamblet (right) con- 
gratulates Capt Constance Risegari-Gai (left), com- 
mander of Volunteer Training Unit 1-1, Boston, 
Massachusetts during ceremonies to present awards 
earned by Women Reservists during World War II. 



A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 




10 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



From the 1st Marine Corps Reserve District Head- 
quarters, then located in Boston, Captain Constance 
Risegari-Gai, commanding officer of VTU l-l(WR), 



wrote: 



Dear Ex-Marine, 

Do you want to remain an ex-Marine — or would you like 
to drop the "ex-', remove the "homing pigeon", "ruptured 
duck" or whatever you call it from your uniform, and again 
be able to write USMCR after your name? 

Yes, the Corps wants you back, right now, in the Volun- 
teer Reserve, although later you may have an opportunity 
to go into the Organized Reserve. 27 

Boston chose Marine Corps administration as its 
specialty, scheduled regular lectures, and got "field 
practice" by assisting the 2d Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, with its paperwork. The Boston WRs met 
every Wednesday night on the fourth deck of the Navy 
Building-Marine Corps Reserve Armory (formerly the 
Fargo Building) to type enlistment papers, medical 
records, and routine correspondence. 

Elements of that unit gave similar help on Satur- 
day and Sunday mornings to the three Marine avia- 
tion squadrons at nearby Squantum. And, on Tuesday, 
others went south to Hingham Naval Ammunition 
Depot to lend a hand to Company B, 2d Infantry Bat- 
talion. Frequently, the women were called on for 
recruiting and public relations activities as well. Lack 
of work was never a problem. 

In the notice for the week of 12 November 1947, 
Captain Risegari-Gai added, "Major Julia Hamblet ex- 
pressed much pleasure and satisfaction with the work 
of VTU 1-1. She stated that we have the largest actu- 
ally working unit (there is a larger unit in New York 
which meets for training lectures once a month)." 28 

The WRs of New York would, no doubt, have taken 
exception to the captain's assessment of their unit. 
VTU 3-l(WR), activated in February 1947, and com- 
manded by Staff Sergeant Steele was not only the lar- 
gest women's volunteer training unit, with a strength 
at one time of 100 members, but it was the only all 
enlisted women's VTU and it remained active until 
20 August 1957 — a little more than 10 years. 29 By 
1954, it had logged in a record of over 7,000 volun- 
tary unpaid hours of service to the Marine Corps, do- 
ing clerical, recruiting, and typing duty for many 
Marine Reserve units including Marine Fighter Squa- 
dron 132, the 1st Infantry Battalion, the 19th Infan- 
try Battalion, and the l4th Signal Company. 30 

Among its early members were Helen A. Brusack, 
who eventually integrated into the Regular Marine 
Corps and remained until her retirement as a gun- 



nery sergeant in May 1972; Agnes Hirshinger, who 
commanded the unit from July 1949 until its deac- 
tivation; Dorothy T. Hunt (later Stephenson), who in- 
tegrated and was a member of the staff that 
established women's recruit training at Parris Island 
in 1949; Pearl Jackson, the first enlisted woman ac- 
cepted for officer candidate training after the in- 
tegration of women into the Regular Marine Corps; 
and Alice Mclntyre, who later integrated, became a 
warrant officer, and served 20 years. 31 

Second Lieutenant Julia M. Horns by activated the 
Baltimore VTU(WR). Members of the Woman Ma- 
rine Organized Reserve platoons of the post-Korea era 
remembered her as the Reserve liaison officer at Par- 
ris Island who was vitally involved with their summer 
training period. 

First Lieutenant Kathyrn E. Snyder established VTU 
12-4 (WR) at San Francisco on 10 February 1948. The 
next year, serving on continuous active duty, she be- 
came the first inspector-instructor (I&I) of the wom- 
en's Reserve platoon in that city and eventually the 
I&I of the post-Korea Women Reserve Administration 
Platoon in Detroit. 

In Philadelphia, Captain Dorothy M. Knox com- 
manded VTU 4-4 (WR), activated in September 1947. 
When the Organized Reserve finally became availa- 
ble to women in 1949, Captain Knox and her entire 
VTU became the nucleus of Philadelphia's WR pla- 
toon. They had already lost one member to the 
Regulars — Captain Elsie Eleanor Hill. In time, Doro- 
thy Knox integrated, served with the major women's 
commands — to include assignments as commanding 
officer of the Woman Marine Detachment at Quanti- 
co and later of the Woman Recruit Training Battalion 
at Parris Island — and retired as a colonel in 1970. 

San Diego's Volunteer Training Unit, VTU 11-2 
(WR) was activated on 26 February 1948 with First 
Lieutenant Ben Alice Day as commanding officer. 
Lieutenant Day, among the first 20 Regular women 
officers, later reverted to the Reserve when, as a ma- 
jor, she married Brigadier General John C. Munn (later 
Lieutenant General Munn, Assistant Commandant of 
the Marine Corps). The Munns retired in 1964 in the 
first husband -wife, Regular- Reserve retirement ceremo- 
ny in Corps history. 32 

In 1977, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Alice Munn 
recalled: 

. . . with respect to the interest Colonel W. R. Collins 
(later Major General, USMC; now retired) had in the group. 
As the Inspector-Instructor of the Reserve unit in San Die- 
go, he gave most generously of his time and energy to help 



A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 



11 



set up a program, and to keep the meetings interesting. This 
was very difficult as the question of what to do with Wom- 
en Reserves, besides sitting them in front of typewriters, was 
an unanswered question. There was no training program or 
syllabus. (The question remained for a good 20 years or more! 
The Marine Corps had bowed under wartime pressure that 
historic February 1943, and it was my impression that the 
Corps was glad, or relieved, to see the last of us go off to 
inactive duty or to civilian life!) 

Perhaps Colonel Collins was ahead of his time for I well 
remember one lecture he gave to VTU 11-2 (WR) in which 
he described a trip he made to Russia immediately after 
hostilities ceased. He gave a vivid description of his obser- 
vation of Russian women being used in every military job, 
from sweeping snow off runways to driving tanks. 33 

Women's VTUs were also formed in Indianapolis, 
Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; 
Oakland, California; Chicago, Illinois; Rochester, New 
York; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Missouri; 
Portland, Oregon; New Orleans, Louisiana; Minneapo- 
lis, Minnesota; Atlanta, Georgia; and Washington, 
D.C. The WR volunteer training units were a source 
of great pride to the Marine Corps. Between March 
and December 1947, women Reservists worked a to- 
tal of 5,000 hours of voluntary service. 

The immeasurable importance of these units lies 
primarily in their effectiveness in keeping hundreds 
of WRs interested in their Marine Corps affiliation 
during the two years it took to pass legislation allow- 
ing Regular and Organized Reserve status for women. 
Many of the units later transferred 100 percent to the 
Organized Reserve. Individuals integrated into the 
Regular Marine Corps when it became possible in late 
1948 and early 1949. Others, mobilized for Korea, re- 
mained to complete a 20-year career. 

Plans for the Organized Reserve 

Planning for the Organized Reserve, which was to 
be the heart of the peacetime women's program, con- 
tinued based on the expected passage of enabling 
legislation. The Marine Corps was deeply committed 
to this concept and Major Hamblet and her staff 
worked out the details while at the same time they 
tried to maintain the interest of former women Reser- 
vists. At one time there was talk of 30 women's com- 
panies throughout the country. But, by 1947 this 
figure was reduced to 15 companies at 10 officers and 
235 enlisted women each, for a total of 150 officers 
and 3,525 enlisted women. 34 Reserve companies were 
planned for those cities with the greatest concentra- 
tion of women Reservists and where interest was the 
most obvious. 



During the year and a half before the law was fi- 
nally passed, it was the intention of the Marine Corps 
to activate a Women's Reserve company in each of the 
following cities: Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Mas- 
sachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, 
Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, Califor- 
nia; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Francisco, California; 
Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Toledo, Ohio; 
and Washington, D.C. 

The legislative delay was frustrating and costly. In 
spite of efforts to keep the women interested, they 
drifted away and company-size units never materi- 
alized* 

Release of the WRs Delayed Again 

In February 1947, the first hashmark, the official 
insignia of a full four years of active duty and the tradi- 
tional mark of a "salty" Marine, appeared on the uni- 
form of Technical Sergeant Mary F Wancheck. 35 Others 
would soon sew them on. Just as the women were 
settling in and beginning to feel quite at home, the 
plan for their release was again under discussion. 

The Assistant Commandant and Chief of Staff, 
Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., seemed reluc- 
tant and on 17 April 1947, he sent a short memoran- 
dum to General Thomas: "Now that the time has 
come to discharge our WRs do you still want to go 
through with it? We will lose many good clerks, a 
number of whom are processing claims, etc." 36 The 
predictable response was, "I feel that we must carry 
out these discharges. Only 23 of these WR's are work- 
ing on claims." 37 

Careful coordination between work sections and the 
separation center was necessary to facilitate an order- 
ly demobilization. The women were to be transferred 
to Quantico in groups of 20 per working day during 
the period from 13 June to 30 June in order to meet 
the deadline. Because the medical and administrative 
processing would take several days, it could not be 
done at Henderson Hall where WR barracks were no 
longer available. Work sections were assigned quotas 
of women to be released on a regular schedule to avoid 
a last-minute overload. 

Hardly had the details been arranged when on 22 
April, Colonel John Halla, Acting Chief of the Dis- 
bursing Branch, asked to keep 28 women Reservists 



*Fbr a more thorough discussion of the women's Organized 
Reserve program, see Chapter 3. 



12 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



on active duty until 31 December 1947 to work on 
a backlog of claims. The Commandant approved the 
request, but, added a terse directive, "... see to it 
that they are not deviated to any other work." 38 

Contrary to the Commandant's published policy 
that all matters affecting the MCWR be submitted to 
the Director, MCWR, Major Hamblet was not con- 
sulted on the transaction involving the retention of 
the 28 women. She called this omission to the at- 
tention of the Director, Division of Reserve and 
reiterated: 

The undersigned has stated her arguments against the 
retention of women on active duty either as reservists or as 
members of the regular Marine Corps. It is believed that 
all women who are not working on postwar plans for the 
MCWR should be discharged as expeditiously as possible. 
It is considered particularly unadvisable to retain a group 
as small as twenty-eight. 39 

Major Hamblet was fighting a losing battle. Not 
only were there more requests to keep women on ac- 
tive duty but some divisions wanted to call back al- 
ready released women officers with special 
qualifications. 

The case of Captain Edna Loftus Smith put the 
whole matter of WR retention back into the spotlight. 
She was recalled for membership on the Marine Corps 
, Aviation History Board. The Director of Aviation 
wrote: "This officer is peculiarly well qualified for this 
duty, more so than any officer in the Marine Corps, 
due to her wartime duties. . . ." 40 

The legality of her recall opened a Pandora's box 
of legal considerations. How would she be paid? There 
was no authorization to use Reserve funds for matters 
connected to the war already fought and the Com- 
mandant had made no mention of women in his state- 
ment to Congress relative to the 1948 Reserve 
appropriations. Beyond the question of money, 
Brigadier General William T. Clement, Director, Di- 
vision of Reserve, even doubted the authority to main- 
tain WRs in the Volunteer Reserve under existing laws. 

In spite of his uncertainty and due to the critical 
personnel shortage, he suggested that the Comman- 
dant's policy to discharge all WRs by 30 June be 
reversed. This would eliminate the problem of recall- 
ing individual Reservists and take care of the problem 
of pay since WRs on active duty were being paid from 
Regular Establishment funds. 

Twenty-eight women were already being retained 
beyond the 30 June 1947 deadline to work on claims. 
"However," wrote General Clement, "claims cannot be 
settled until muster rolls are checked which justifies 



the retention of the WRs in that section, and by the 
same token, those on duty in the Decorations and Me- 
dals Section are working to clean up the war load." 41 
He believed it was better to keep all WRs on active 
duty on a voluntary basis until the passage of perma- 
nent legislation to resolve the situation. To ease the 
embarassment caused by the constant shifting of dates 
and policy changes it was rationalized that the 30 June 
1947 date was originally set with the idea that per- 
manent legislation covering the women would have 
been enacted by that time. 

Following General Clement's suggestion, a week 
later in early June, General Shepherd recommended 
the retention of WRs rather than approve a request 
that several hundred enlisted men be transferred to 
Headquarters. Since the efficiency of each woman 
Reservist was considered to be far greater than that 
of the average enlisted man to be brought in, he feared 
a marked loss in work output with the proposed 
changeover. 

Thus another last-minute reprieve for the women 
at Headquarters arrived on 9 June when the final 
demobilization deadline was changed to read, ". . . 
for a period of six months after the war is declared 
over or such shorter time as meets the requirements 
of the Marine Corps." 42 

General Thomas once again asked that the previ- 
ously published policy be strictly adhered to and that 
only the five officers actually working on the postwar 
program and the enlisted women kept as a result of 
the latest change be allowed to remain on active duty. 
He recommended that the other four women officers 
still on duty (Smith not included) be released as soon 
as their work was completed and that no more wom- 
en officers be recalled except to fill a possible vacancy 
in the billets designated for the MCWR* General Van- 
degrift's approving signature was a bittersweet victo- 
ry, for next to the word, approved, he wrote "with the 
addition of one (1) WR officer for duty in the office 
of theJ.A.G, [Judge Advocate General]." 43 



*At the time of General Thomas' memo, there were 10 women 
officers on active duty: Major Hamblet and Lieutenant Hale work- 
ing on MCWR plans; Captain Illich working on matters related to 
the women kept on active duty; Captain Elizabeth J. Elrod and Cap- 
tain Durant at the WR company; Major Frances W. Pepper and Se- 
cond Lieutenant Pauline E Riley at the Post War Personnel 
Reorganization Board; First Lieutenant Marie K. Anderson in the 
Supply Department; and Captain Sarah M. Vardy and Captain 
Smith in the Division of Aviation. 



A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 



13 



In the files of the Director of Women Marines was 
found an undated, unsigned, brief history of the wom- 
en in the Marine Corps which begins: 

It is rumored that when it was announced that women 
were going to be enlisted in the Marine Corps that the air 
was colored with profanity in the language of every nation 
as the members of the old Corps gathered to discuss this 
earth-shaking calamity. It is entirely probable that the wailing 
and moaning which went on that day amongst the old Ma- 
rines was never equalled — never, that is, until it was an- 
nounced that the women Marines were going home. Then, 
with a complete reversal of attitude many of those same Ma- 
rines declared that the women in their offices were essen- 
tial military personnel and absolutely could not be spared 
from the office. 44 

Stenographers Recalled 
A severe shortage of clerk-stenographers brought 



another demand for the recall of formerly active en- 
listed women Reservists. Few enlisted men were quali- 
fied and Civil Service was unable to fill the needs of 
Headquarters, so, in October 1947, 1,500 applications 
were mailed to women Reservists in the Volunteer 
Reserve, It came as a great surprise and disappoint- 
ment when only 56 were returned — and of the num- 
ber only 28 were considered qualified. The fact is that 
the letter soliciting applications was not very enticing. 
The maximum tour assured was for six months — the 
women could not request earlier release and the Ma- 
rine Corps could not guarantee anything more, 45 

Among the women recommended for recall were 
Staff Sergeant Lotus T. Mort, who later became the 
third woman warrant officer in 1954; Corporal Mildred 
A. Novotny, who was among the first eight enlisted 



Col Katherine A. Towle cuts cake on the 6th anniversary in February 1949 of the Marine 
Corps Women's Reserve. Mrs, Ruth Cheney Streeter looks on. In the background (from 
left to right) are TSgt Grace L, Benjamin, Cpl Emilie Pranckevich, TSgt Agnes T. Hir- 
shinger, SSgt May Ann Henritze, MS gt Marie B. Benzzger, and Sgt Elsie F, Futterman. 




14 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



women to be sworn into the Regular Marine Corps on 
10 November 1948; and Technical Sergeant Helen L. 
Hannah, who retired in 1975 with 32 years service as 
a Reservist. Lotus Mort recalled that she was a bit hesi- 
tant when her orders arrived on Christmas Eve, but 
on 5 January 1948, she reported for six months and 



stayed for 17 years until her retirement in 1965. The 
poor response to the call for stenographers was the first 
indication that competent women needed to be as- 
sured of more security if they were going to leave their 
homes and good jobs. Colonel Knighton's prediction 
of 1946 had come to pass. 



CHAPTER 2 

Women's Armed Forces Legislation: Public Law 625 

Women's Armed Forces Legislation —Provisions of Public Law 625 



Women 's Armed Forces Legislation 

Nearly three years elapsed from the end of hostili- 
ties in August 1945 until legislation giving women 
regular military status was finally passed and signed 
into law by President Harry S. Truman on 12 June 
1948. The drawn-out process, marked by gains and 
reverses along the way, was the cause of much of the 
uncertainty experienced by women Marines on duty 
at Headquarters. Without the legislation there was no 
security for those women, and no one knows how many 
competent WRs, who would have preferred a career 
in the Marine Corps, asked to be discharged simply 
because they could not afford to wait. 

The proposed law received little support from the 
Commandant — and for some very good reasons. The 
Marine Corps had an authorized regular enlisted 
strength of 100,000 and then as now, operated on a 
limited budget. Understandably, neither the men nor 
the women wanted to sacrifice combat billets to make 
room for the women. General Vandegrift was heartily 
in favor of women as Regular Marines provided they 
would not count against his end strength; otherwise, 
he was unalterably opposed. 

A study of the position taken by the other services 
regarding the women's bill reveals that the Army and 
the Navy intended to use large numbers of women 
in occupational fields not required in the Marine 
Corps. There was a strong case made, for example, for 
women in the medical field: nurses, Medical Corps 
WAVES, dental technicians, and laboratory techni- 
cians. Furthermore, they contended that these billets 
which were planned for the WAVES and the WACs 
would not affect overseas rotation of the men. This 
was not the situation in the Marine Corps. 

The senior women officers, Colonels Streeter and 
Towle and Major Hamblet, were aware of the unique 
problems faced by the Commandant, and they were 
also conscious of the climate at Headquarters* They 
recognized exactly how far the Marine Corps would 



*Colonels Streeter and Towle, although no longer on active du- 
ty, were frequently consulted on matters relating to the postwar plans 
for the women in the Marine Corps. 



be willing to go and believed that a crusade by the 
women would have had negative results. The plan for 
a strong Women's Organized Reserve backed up by a 
Volunteer Reserve was a compromise that most Ma- 
rines could accept, and this was the proposal they car- 
ried to Capitol Hill. 

The Honorable Carl Vinson, on 29 March 1946, in- 
troduced H.R. 5919, "To amend the Naval Reserve Act 
of 1938, as amended, so as to establish the Women's 
Reserve on a permanent basis ..." (79th Congress, 
2d session). As the purpose clearly states, the bill was 
strictly a Reserve measure and in its original form al- 
lowed the Marine Corps only 50 officers and 450 en- 
listed women on active duty during peacetime. It was 
referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs and hear- 
ings were held on 9 and 10 May. 

In her book, Lady In The Navy, Captain Joy Han- 
cock notes, "The burden of presentation before that 
committee was carried largely by the members of the 
Women's Reserve who were not in a position of suffi- 
cient authority to speak with the necessary assurance 
of Navy plans and policies." 1 Colonel Towle, the Com- 
mandant's representative, prepared a short statement 
summarizing the plans for a Reserve organization with 
an active duty strength of 32 officers and 28 enlisted 
women — at the most. 2 

American military women enjoy a relationship of 
unusual cooperation. Perhaps it stems from the shared 
experience of being a minority in a previously all-male 
world. For whatever reasons, they have made it a point 
of honor to be mutually supportive. Accordingly, when 
the time came to testify before the committee, Colonel 
Towle was careful not to undermine the much stronger 
WAVE position. 

After the initial hearings in the House, Admiral 
Denfeld enlisted the aid of Congress woman Margaret 
Chase Smith, who had taken a public stand in favor 
of Regular status for service women. Mrs. Smith had 
been cautioned by the chairman, Carl Vinson, that 
her amendment to include Regular as well as Reserve 
status would kill the whole bill. 3 Mrs. Smith's view was, 
'The Navy either needs these women or they do 
not. . . " 4 

15 



16 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



As a result of the efforts of Admiral Denfeld and 
Mrs. Smith, a new draft was prepared which would 
extend the scope of existing laws governing the Regu- 
lar Navy and Marine Corps to include women. For all 
that, time ran out before further action was taken. 
When the 79th Congress adjourned, the women's bill 
died in committee. Consequently, it would be neces- 
sary to begin fresh at the next session. 

The women in the Army worked on a separate bill 
until the armed services were combined to become the 
Department of Defense. At that time, the women 
joined forces in order to present as strong a case as 
possible while allowing for the unavoidable 
differences. 

Added to the varied duties assigned to Major Ham- 
blet when she returned to active duty in the fall of 

1946 was the task of tracking the pending legislation. 
Sandwiched between the planning of the postwar 
Reserve, and the vain attempt to demobilize the war- 
time WRs, she studied and commented on the wom- 
en's bill and made occasional appearances before 
congressional committees. She was asked verbally by 
Colonel Pate to submit, 'arguments against keeping 
women on active duty in the Marine Corps either as 
reservists on continuous active duty or as members of 
the Regular establishment." She did so in a 29 April 

1947 memo, ending with the statement: 

If it is decided that women shall be on active duty for 
an indefinite period of time, their rights should be protect- 
ed by making them members of the Regular establishment 
of the Marine Corps rather than keeping them on continu- 
ous active duty as reservists. 5 

By the time the Senate subcommittee hearings of 
the 80th Congress began on 2 July 1947, the Navy bill 
S. 1529 and the Army bill S. 1103 were combined to 
form S. 1641. Most observers were certain that women 
were going to be made part of the Regular Armed 
Forces. General of the Army Dwight D Eisenhower 
opened his testimony saying, "Not only do I heartily 
support the bill to integrate women into the Regular 
Army and Organized Reserve Corps, but I personally 
directed that such legislation be drawn up and sub- 
mitted to this Congress." 6 A critical shortage of infan- 
trymen and the need to stabilize the Women's Army 
Corps prompted him to stress the urgency of action 
to the Congress. 

General Eisenhower was followed by Fleet Admiral 
Chester W. Nimitz who said, "The real fact must be 
acknowledged that in any future war it will be man- 
datory to have at our command immediately all pos- 




Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. 

sible resources. Womenpower is one of them." 7 It 
should be noted that the Allies made good use of 
women in the armed services in World War II * 

Colonel Knighton followed, reading a brief, two- 
sentence Marine Corps statement: 'The previous wit- 
nesses have expressed the views of the Commandant; 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps is in favor of 
the bill and trusts that it will be enacted as soon as 
possible." 8 



*In an interview in October 1976 in Heidelberg, Germany, Al- 
bert Speer, Hilter's weapons production chief said: "How wise you 
were to bring your women into your military and into your labor 
force. Had we done that initially, as you did, it could have affected 
the whole course of the war. Women would have been far superior, 
for example, to our impressed labor force from occupied countries, 
which you called 'slave labor.' We would have found out, as you 
did, that women were equally effective, and for some skills superi- 
or to males. We never did, despite our critical manpower shortage 
in the late years of the war, make use of this great potential." (San 
Diego Union, 30Nov76). 



WOMEN'S ARMED FORCES LEGISLATION, PUBLIC LAW 625 



17 



The brevity and the wording of the statement cast 
some doubt on the Commandant's true feelings. In 
order to offset its negative effect at Headquarters, 
Colonel Knighton sent a memorandum to the Assis- 
tant Commandant, General Shepherd, along with a 
file of statements given before the Senate Armed Serv- 
ices Committee which he said: 

. . . contain almost unrefutable arguments why: it is vi- 
tal that women be integrated into the Regular Establishment 
of all services. 

I informed the Senate Committee that the views expressed 
by these witnesses reflected the views of the Commandant. 

As it has been rumored that the Commandant is oppos- 
ed to having women in the Regular Marine Corps, it might 
be well to circulate these statements to the heads of all 
Departments and offices. 9 

Colonel Knighton was perhaps the strongest voice 
heard in the Marine Corps in favor of integration of 
the women. As legal aide to the Commandant, legis- 
lation was his responsibility but he seemed to go a step 
further in an effort to convince others of the need for 
this particular bill. He went so far as to testify at a 
Senate hearing in place of Major Hamblet when he 
feared that she, due to her own doubts, would not be 
convincing enough. The bill passed the Senate on 23 
July 1947 and was sent to the House committee where 
it sat until the adjournment of the first session, but 
this time it would not be necessary to begin anew. 

In anticipation of the enactment of the legislation, 
a board was convened in December 1947 to propose 
a program for women as Regular Marines, Keeping 
in mind that every woman in the Regular Marine 
Corps would be at the expense of a man, careful 
thought was given to their most efficient utilization. 
The study, therefore, provided for 65 officers and 728 
enlisted women to be assigned to Headquarters Ma- 
rine Corps, both at Henderson Hall and the Marine 
Corps Institute; offices of the directors of the Marine 
Corps Reserve Districts; Headquarters Recruiting Di- 
visions; Department of Pacific and Depot of Supplies 
at San Francisco; Marine Corps Schools, Quantico; and 
to the Organized Women's Reserve Program. 10 

In February 1948 just before the House Armed Serv- 
ices Committee was scheduled to meet, Captain Ira 
H, Nunn of the Navy Judge Advocate General's office 
wrote to the Commandant asking for his help. In view 
of the considerable opposition to the bill, a strong 
presentation was deemed necessary, and plans were 
being made for appearances by the Secretary of 
Defense, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief 
of Naval Personnel, and the Deputy Surgeon Gener- 
al, The letter read: 



Advice is requested as to whether the Commandant can 
appear in support of the bill .... It is understood that 
the Departments of the Army and Air Force will be 
represented by Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, Spaatz, De- 
vers, Paul, Armstrong, and Strothers. 11 * 

The Marine Corps was represented at those crucial 
hearings by Major Hamblet, who was introduced by 
Colonel Knighton, 

The hearings were heated and prolonged, but the 
outcome seemed assured. To almost everyone's sur- 
prise, however, in early April, the committee report- 
ed out a measure which would have limited enlistment 
of women in the armed services to Reserve status only. 
During the debate, Margaret Chase Smith tried to get 
House approval of the Senate version, but only 40 
members backed her while 66 were opposed. The op- 
ponents argued that, "Regular status for women in the 
military service now might result in a draft for wom- 
en in another war and West Point would become a 
coeducational college," 12 The solution seemed to be 
to put women in a Reserve status. 

The bill, S. 1641, then went into a joint conference 
by members of both the Senate and the House to 
reconsider the differences. Support came from patri- 
otic organizations, professional and business women 
groups, and most importantly from the ranking mili- 
tary men of the day. Fleet Admiral Nimitz, Chief of 
Naval Operations, in backing the legislation said: 

This legislation has been requested after careful study of 
the overall requirements of the Navy, now and in the fu- 
ture. It is the considered opinion of the Navy Department 
and my own personal belief that the services of women are 
needed. Their skills are as important to the efficient opera- 
tions of the naval establishment during peacetime as they 
were during the war years. 13 

The bill that emerged from the joint conference es- 
tablished a Women's Army Corps in the Regular Army, 
authorized the enlistment and appointment of wom- 
en in the Regular Navy and the Regular Marine Corps 
and the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve, and the 



*General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Omar 
N. Bradley, Chief of Staff of the Army; General Carl T. Spaatz, 
Commanding General, Army Air Forces; General Jacob L. Devers, 
Commanding General, Army Ground Forces; Lieutenant General 
Willard S. Paul, Director of Personnel Administration, General 
Staff, United States Army; Brigadier General Harry G. Armstrong, 
U.S. Army Air Forces, Commandant of the School of Aviation Medi- 
cine; Brigadier General Dean C. Strothers, U.S. Army Air Forces, 
Director of Military Personnel under Deputy Chief of Staff, Per- 
sonnel and Administration. 



18 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Regular and Reserve of the newly created Air Force in 
which the women would be known as WAFs (Women 
in the Air Force). Ten days later, 12 June 1948, Presi- 
dent Truman signed the long-debated Women's 
Armed Services Integration Act, Public Law 625. 

Provisions of Public Law 625 

Generally, P. L. 625 gave equal status to women in 
uniform, but there were a number of restrictions and 
special provisions. While the law placed no limit on 
the number of women who could serve in the Reserves, 
it did specify that the number of women Regulars 
could not exceed two percent of the nation's total 
armed strength in the Regular Army, Navy, Air Force, 
and Marines. It provided for a gradual build-up which 
would allow the Marine Corps a strength of 100 
officers, 10 warrant officers, and 1,000 enlisted wom- 
en by June 1950. In fact the Marine Corps did not an- 
ticipate or want to fill the allotted quota. 

Based upon a strong recommendation from Mrs. 
Streeter, the new law contained the provision that the 
Director of Women Marines would be detailed to duty 
in the office of the Commandant to assist the Com- 
mandant in the administration of women's affairs. 
Originally, she, like the WAVE director, would have 
been responsible to the Personnel Department. Mrs. 
Streeter, in response to a letter from General Van- 
degrift in August 1947, recalled her duty in the Per- 
sonnel Department and the limitations under which 
she worked during the war. She gave great credit to 
the courtesy and cooperation of all the men at Head- 
quarters with whom she worked, but she argued that 
the Director would be in a better position to deal with 
all branches, and that her cognizance over all women 
Marines and all matters affecting them would be 
recognized if she did not come under one particular 
branch. 17 General Vandegrift agreed and the women's 
bill was amended before it came to the final vote. For 
all services, the director was to be selected from among 
the Regular women officers serving in the grade of 
major or above (lieutenant commander for the Navy) 
and would hold the temporary rank of colonel or Navy 
captain. 

Promotion regulations loosely paralleled those of 
male components, except that women could not hold 
permanent rank above lieutenant colonel. Ad- 
ditionally, the number of Regular women lieutenant 
colonels could not exceed 10 percent of the number 
of Regular women officers on active duty— for ma- 



jors, the law read 20 percent.* Inasmuch as lieutenant 
colonel was the senior grade that women officers could 
then hold (with the exception of the Director), non- 
promotion to this rank was not considered a passover. 
Women officers retired from the senior ranks upon 
reaching a mandatory retirement age which was for 
majors, 20 years or age 50, whichever came sooner, 
and for lieutenant colonel, 30 years service or age 55, 
whichever was sooner. The law also specified that 
women could not be assigned to duty in aircraft en- 
gaged in combat missions nor to vessels of the Navy 
other than transport and hospital ships. 

Women were entitled to the same pay, leave, al- 
lowances, and benefits as men, but with an impor- 
tant proviso. Husbands would not be considered 
dependents unless they were in fact dependent on 
their wives for their chief support, and the children 
of servicewomen would not be considered dependents 
unless their fathers were dead or they were really de- 
pendent upon their mothers for their chief support. 
This apparently simple exception was the cause of 
much frustration and bitterness as the law was inter- 
preted over the years. In effect, it negated many of 
the service benefits normally considered routine by the 
men. For example, quarters could not be assigned to 
a woman married to a civilian, nor could her husband 
shop at the post exchange or commissary store.** 

The Marines especially appreciated the section of 
the law dealing with the Reserves for it made possi- 
ble, at last, the much-discussed Organized Women's 
Reserve. Nearly two years had passed since Major 
Hamblet had been called to active duty to frame the 
postwar women's plans which, by this time, were laid 
out in great detail and ready for implementation. 

Women were now a part of the Regular Marine 
Corps in spite of earlier opposition to this radical idea. 
In the spring of 1946, when the legislation was first 
introduced, no one, least of all the women themselves, 
ever thought in terms of Regular status. As time went 
on, however, there was increasing evidence that no real- 



*The provision held up a number of promotions to field grade 
rank. In 1962, Captain Grace "San" Overholser Fields stayed on active 
duty longer than she intended after her marriage in order to keep 
up the strength figures of the Regular active duty women officers, 
thereby allowing Major Jeanette I. Sustad, a future Director of Wom- 
en Marines, to be promoted to lieutenant colonel. (Grace Over- 
holser Fields interview with HQMC). 

**For a detailed discussion of marriage, motherhood, and de- 
pendent husbands, see Chapter 13. 



WOMEN'S ARMED FORCES LEGISLATION, PUBLIC LAW 625 19 

ly effective and continuing nucleus of trained person- The passage of the Women's Armed Services Integra- 
nd could be counted on in the Defense Establishment tion Act of 1948 recognized this fact and was a natur- 
unless some permanency was assured women who al sequel to the excellent record of the women who 
volunteered for training and assignment in peacetime. served in World War II. 



20 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Col Ruth Cheney Streeter, wartime Director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, be- 
fore leaving her post recommended that the position be strengthened, a proposal which 
lead ultimately to the Marine Corps amendment to Public Law 625 and placement of 
the Director in the table of organization of the immediate office of the Commandant. 



CHAPTER 3 

Going Regular 

The Transfer Program— Establishing the Office and Title, Director of Women Marines 

The First Enlisted Women Marines— The Pioneers —Reindoctrination of the Officers 

Rein doc trination of Enlisted WMs — Designation of Women Marines 

Recruit Training Established at Partis Island— The First Black Women Marines 

Establishing the Women Officers Training Class at Quantico 



The Transfer Program 

The integration of women was now a fait accompli, 
and in Colonel Towle's view, ". . . the Marine Corps 
had, with varying degrees of enthusiasm but always 
in good grace, accepted the fact that women as poten- 
tial careerists' in the Marine Corps must be reckoned 
with and provided for." 1 To this end, the first step was 
to find a suitable Director, but the process of transfer 
from Reserve to Regular could not wait for her selec- 
tion, acceptance, and arrival. 

Major Hamblet, still the Director of the Marine 
Corps Women's Reserve, recommended Colonel Towle 
be named to that post. Although the press had an- 
nounced that the services would probably retain the 
current directors, and certainly she was the one most 
familiar with the plans to be implemented, Major 
Hamblet recognized that her age and rank would work 
to her and ultimately to the women's disadvantage. 
There would be, she was certain, a good deal of op- 
position to the appointment to colonel — even on a 
temporary basis — of a 33-year-old woman with only 
five years of military experience. 2 Colonel Towle, on 
the other hand, was happily ensconced as the Assis- 
tant Dean of Women at the Berkeley campus of the 
University of California, and she felt that Major 
Hamblet should continue as Director. 

General Clifton B. Cates, then Commandant, 
found himself in the uncomfortable and certainly un- 
usual position of personally having to ask a woman 
to accept a Regular commission. In the summer of 
1948, his aide called Colonel Towle to tell her that the 
Commandant was planning an official trip to Califor- 
nia and wished to meet with her in San Francisco at 
the Saint Francis Hotel. At the ensuing interview, 
Colonel Towle was not prepared to make a definite 
commitment to return, but she and General Cates dis- 
cussed details of organization and particularly the po- 
sition of the Director and her access to the 
Commandant. 3 The general agreed to consider her 
recommendations and to talk them over with his ad- 
visors at Headquarters. The outcome was the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Katherine A. Towle as the first 
Director of Women Marines. 



Admittedly, she was one of the women who origi- 
nally had grave doubts about the need or even desira- 
bility of having women in the military during 
peacetime, but on thinking it over, she said, "the logic 
of the whole thing did occur to me: that this was 
sound. . . ." 4 Any uncertainties she entertained were 
set aside once and for all when she returned to 
Washington in the fall of 1948, and she undertook 
her work determined to make the women truly in- 
tegrated, contributing members of the Corps. 

In July, while the matter of a director was still un- 
settled, letters containing information about the trans- 
fer program were sent to women Reservists and former 
women Reservists. The women were to be selected 
based upon their qualifications to fill the 65 officer 
and 728 enlisted billets. Of the 65 officers selected, 
21 would receive Regular commissions and 44 would 
be assigned as Reservists on continuous active duty, 
presumably with the Organized Reserve companies. 5 

Since 18,000 enlisted women had served in World 
War II, it was not anticipated that nonveterans would 
be accepted for perhaps nine months to a year after 
the transfer program got underway. A continuing 
board would be convened at Headquarters to select 
applicants at the rate of 75 per month until the 
planned strength was reached. After that, several 
recruit classes per year would be conducted at Hen- 
derson Hall to compensate for losses due to normal 
attrition. It was estimated that no more than 200 
recruits would be needed during the first two years. 6 

Former enlisted Reservists could enlist for two, three, 
or four years, and had to meet the following require- 
ments: be 20-31 years old; have two years of high 
school or business school; be a citizen of the United 
States or its insular possessions; be married or single; 
have no children under 18 years of age regardless of 
legal custody; have no dependents; be able to pass the 
prescribed physical examination; and possess an honor- 
able or under-honorable-conditions discharge. The 
deadline for receipt of applications was set at 15 Sep- 
tember 19487 

In the case of officers, the flow of promotions as 
well as available billets had to be considered. It was 
decided that the 21 initial selections for Regular sta- 

21 



22 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




On 4 November 1948, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen Clifton B. Cates administers 
the oath to the first three women to be sworn into the Regular Marine Corps, (left to 
right) LtCol Katherine A. Towle, Maj Julia E. Hamblet, and IstLt Mary J. Hale. 



tus should be allocated to: majors and above, two; 
captains, five; first lieutenants, seven; and second lieu- 
tenants, seven. All officers and former officers were 
sent letters similar to the ones used to solicit enlisted 
candidates. The promise of security in these was a bit 
vague in that they were told, "Subject to budgetary 
limitations and satisfactory performance of duty, ap- 
plicants are assured at least a 3-year tour of 
duty, , , ." And following the details of the projected 
officer candidate class was written, "As these new 
officers are obtained, the Reserve officers on continu- 
ous active duty will be ordered to inactive duty." 8 

To be considered for transfer to the Regular Marine 
Corps, women officers had to have completed two years 
of accredited college work or pass an equivalent ex- 
amination; be physically qualified; have no children 
under 18 years of age; and fit into a complicated age- 
grade structure which would protect them later from 
mandatory, involuntary retirement. 

The enlisted selection board convened on 21 Sep- 



tember with Colonel Lester S. Hamel as senior mem- 
ber. The first report, submitted on 4 October, 
recommended the approval of 142 applicants and the 
tentative approval of 45 others subject to age and phys- 
ical waivers, 9 

It became increasingly apparent and by late Sep- 
tember it was conclusive that the number of enlisted 
applicants was below expectation and the quota would 
not be reached. The cause of the disappointing 
response is a matter of speculation. First, there is no 
evidence that large numbers of women were interest- 
ed in a military career. During the congressional hear- 
ings on the women's armed services legislation, the 
voice of the woman veteran was not heard. Then, the 
age group involved was vulnerable to marriage and 
motherhood, and while marriage itself was not a pro- 
hibiting factor to enlistment, it certainly was a deter- 
rent. Finally, the physical standards were quite 
stringent and the age restrictions for officers were, at 
the very least, difficult. The women officers of World 



GOING REGULAR 



23 



War II were, by and large, older than average when 
compared to men of the same rank, 

A Plans and Policy Division study of 24 September 
1948 recommended that the grade distribution for 
officers be revised in light of the applications received; 
that the deadline for enlisted applications be extend- 
ed to 1 January; that officer applications be forward- 
ed to the board for consideration regardless of 
ineligibility for age or physical condition; that appli- 
cations for new enlistments by nonveterans be autho- 
rized; and that recruit classes begin by 1 March 1949. 10 

Many of the recommendations were approved. The 
enlisted transfer program was extended and age and 
physical waivers were granted, but the problem of 
opening up the program to nonveterans was set aside. 
And, indeed, at the time it was a problem. The Ma- 
rine Corps was not yet racially integrated and to open 
enlistments meant to face "the Negro question," Fur- 
thermore, it required the hasty establishment and 
staffing of a recruit training command for women. 

In spite of the liberalized reenlistment procedures, 
less than 350 applications were received and about 25 
percent of these came from WRs on duty at Head- 
quarters, 11 Even as Colonel Towle arrived on 18 Oc- 
tober, suggestions, plans, and recommendations for 
the reenlistment, recruitment, and training of wom- 
en Marines were being discussed and changed almost 
daily. The paucity of applicants for the transfer pro- 
gram demanded new thinking. 

The officer transfer program, for its part, moved 
relatively smoothly requiring only a few changes in 
rank distribution. On 26 October the names of the 
21 Regular officers selectees were announced. The list 
included 1 colonel, 2 majors, 7 captains, and 11 first 
lieutenants. Not counting Colonel Towle, who had re- 
cently reported aboard, only Major Hamblet and Lieu- 
tenant Hale were on active duty at the time of 
selection. The initial list of women recommended for 
Regular commissions named: 

Colonel Katherine A. Towle 
Major Julia E. Hamblet 
Major Pauline E. Perate 
Captain Pauline B. Beckley 
Captain Barbara J. Bishop 
Captain Margaret M. Henderson 
Captain Emma H. Hendrickson 
Captain Elsie E. Hill 
Captain Helen J. McGraw 
Captain Nancy M. Roberts 
First Lieutenant Kathleen J. Arney 
First Lieutenant Eunyce L, Brink 
First Lieutenant Ben Alice Day 



First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 
First Lieutenant 



Frances A. Denbo 
Mary J. Fisher 
Jeanne Fleming 
Mary J. Hale 
Margaret S. Ordemann 
Pauline F Riley 
Margaret L. Stevenson 
Jeanette I. Sustad 12 



The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General 
Cates, administered the oath to the first women to 
become Regular Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Towle, 
Major Hamblet, and Lieutenant Hale, in his office on 
4 November 1948, On the previous day, Colonel Towle 
had been discharged as a colonel from the Marine 
Corps Reserve, Upon accepting a Regular commission, 
she was appointed a permanent lieutenant colonel, 
and then, assuming the position of director, she was 
promoted to the temporary rank of colonel once again. 

Establishing the Office and Title, 
Director of Women Marines 

In an analysis of the wartime Marine Corps Wom- 
en's Reserve written in 1945, the authors, very diplo- 
matically, but very clearly, pointed out the handicap 
under which Colonel Streeter worked — as an advisor 
with no real authority of her own. The report ex- 
plained: 

... the first real problem confronting the Marine Corps 
was what to do with the Director, MCWR. There really did 
not seem to be much place for her. Certainly she could not 
"direct" anything without cutting squarely across all offi- 
cial channels and chains of command, and creating divid- 
ed responsibility at all points. 

Luckily, Colonel Streeter had great good sense, and a won- 
derful knack for getting along with people, for it was through 
the medium of friendly relations with department heads and 
commanding officers that she eventually gained their con- 
fidence so that . . . suggestions could be made to them with 
some hope of success. 13 . 

Colonel Streeter rightfully concluded that the mid- 
dle of a war was no time to quibble over administrative 
and organizational details, but before leaving the Ma- 
rine Corps, she respectfully made the recommenda- 
tion that, ", , , a new study be made by the Division 
of Plans and Policies embodying the experience of this 
war as to the best possible use which can be made of 
a Director, MCWR, in case of another war," and "That 
her position be strengthened if this can be properly 
done within the structure of the Marine Corps." 14 . 

Colonel Streeter was ultimately responsible for the 
Marine Corps amendment to P, L, 625 which placed 
the Director in the table of organization of the im- 



24 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



mediate office of the Commandant. While serving as 
Director of the MCWR between September 1946 and 
November 1948, Major Hamblet continually strived 
to maintain some degree of control over all matters 
that affected the women. When Colonel Towle was 
asked to return as the first Regular Director, the clarifi- 
cation of this one issue was a factor in her acceptance. 
Clearly, to the most senior women officers, the posi- 
tion of the Director of Women Marines was a matter 
of concern. This position was defined in a study of 
20 October 1948 which stated: 

In establishing the office and title of the senior woman 
Marine, consideration is given to the following: 

(a) An important aspect is the field of public relations, 
involving contacts outside of the Marine Corps. To insure 
maximum prestige and effectiveness in these duties, it is 
necessary that the senior woman Marine hold a title which 
indicates a position of importance in the Marine Corps. 

(b) This officer must have cognizance of all matters per- 
taining to women Marines, Regular and Reserve, even though 
such matters are handled by the appropriate Headquarters 
agency in the same manner as for other Marines. Assigning 
actual administration and control of women Marines to ex- 
isting agencies precludes establishment of a separate divi- 



sion or department to carry out such functions. Under these 
circumstances, the senior woman Marine could best exer- 
cise cognizance over matters in her sphere if she were estab- 
lished as an assistant to the Commandant for woman Marine 
matters. In this capacity she could initiate action on mat- 
ters affecting women Marines or make recommendations on 
policies and procedures concerning them but prepared by 
other agencies. 15 

The recommendations were approved and the senior 
woman Marine was called the Director of Women Ma- 
rines. Due directly to the efforts of Colonels Streeter 
and Towle and Major Hamblet between 1945 and 
1948, the Director of Women Marines enjoyed a some- 
what autonomous role, able to attend the Comman- 
dant's staff meetings in her own right, and able to 
bring to the Commandant or to a division head any 
conflict which she felt merited his attention. 

The First Enlisted Women Marines 

The enlisted WRs stationed at Headquarters lost no 
time in applying for Regular status, and, by Novem- 
ber, Colonel Towle was most anxious that the 210 al- 
ready selected women be sworn in as soon as possible 



On 10 November 1948, the Commandant, Gen Clifton B. Cates, administers the enlist- 
ment oath to the first eight women sworn into the Regular Marine Corps, (left to right) 
MSgtElsieJ. Miller, TSgt Bertha L. Peters, SSgtBettyJ. Preston, SSgt Margaret A. Go- 
ings, Sgt Mildred A. Novotny, TSgt Mary E Wancheck, SSgt Anna Pere grim, and SSgt 
Mary E. Roche. Col Katherine A. Towle, Director of Women Marines, is at far right. 




GOING REGULAR 



25 



in order to generate some favorable publicity and in- 
terest. On the 173rd anniversary of the Marine Corps, 
10 November 1948, the first eight women, all WRs 
on duty at Headquarters Marine Corps, were given the 
oath of enlistment by the Commandant. Seven of 
those women, Master Sergeant Elsie J. Miller, Techni- 
cal Sergeants Bertha L. Peters and Mary F. Wancheck, 
and Staff Sergeants Margaret A. Goings, Anna Pere- 
grim, Betty J. Preston, and Mary E. Roche, had been 
on continuous active duty since their enlistment for 
wartime service. The eighth, Sergeant Mildred A. 
Novotny, had responded to the call for stenographers 
made in late 1947. The eight new women Marines were 
enlisted at the same rank that they held in the 
Reserve. 16 

A WR at Headquarters during that period, retired 
First Sergeant Esther D. Waclawski, remembered that 
she had already spent two days in Separation Com- 
pany when the transfer program was announced. She 
and her friend, Technical Sergeant Petrina "Pete" C 
Nigro, rushed to the recruiting station on Pennsylvania 
Avenue to "join the Marines." Although on active duty, 
these women had to follow the same procedures as 
former WRs all over the country. 17 Upon acceptance, 
they were issued the usual travel orders with the senior 
woman put in charge. Typical of the travel orders of 
the time was a set dated 17 November 1948 and ad- 
dressed to Master Sergeant Alice Julia Connolly, which 
read: 

Having been enlisted this date in the USMC-W, you will, 
when directed, take charge of the below named women and 
proceed this date to Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters 
U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C, where upon your ar- 
rival you and the women in your charge will report to the 
Commanding Officer thereat for duty. 

Technical Sergeant Marion Olson Barnes 

Technical Sergeant Anna Marie Scherman 

Staff Sergeant June Virginia Andler 

Staff Sergeant Rose Mary Barnes 

Staff Sergeant Wilma Greifenstein 

Staff Sergeant Jeanette Marie Johnson 

Staff Sergeant Vera Eleanor Piippo 

Sergeant Ruby Alwilda Evans 

Sergeant Bertha Janice Schuttz 

As no transportation is involved none is furnished. 18 

Since it is safe to assume that a group of senior 
NCOs is not likely to get lost on the way to the bat- 
talion to which they are already attached, the orders 
must have been issued because "it is always done that 
way." 



The Pioneers 

The original band of women in the Regular Marine 
Corps, now to be known as WMs, must have been an 
adventuresome lot. They had little idea of what was 
in store for them, either in the way of assignments, 
length of service, or acceptance by the men of the Ma- 
rine Corps. Colonel Margaret M. Henderson, later to 
be a Director of Women Marines, recalled that she ap- 
plied more or less to see if she could make it. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Elsie Eleanor Hill submitted her 
application with the thought in mind that she would 
probably be stationed at home, in Philadelphia, where 
she had spent her entire wartime tour. 19 The Inspector- 
Instructor of the Reserve unit there told her of the 
plans for an organized platoon in the "City of Brother- 
ly Love." 

Lieutenant Colonel Emma Hope Hendrickson 
Clowers, reminiscing about her feelings when she was 
sworn into the Regular Marine Corps on 3 December 
1948, said; 

I think most women officers in the first group who came 
back as regular officers wondered how we would be receiv- 
ed by the career Marines. . . . We knew there had been no 
lack of enthusiasm on the part of the men for the many thou- 
sands of us who enlisted during WW II to lend a hand and 
"FREE A MAN TO FIGHT" -our WW II motto. But that 
was quite a different situation from one in which we were 
returning as career officers and would inevitably be in com- 
petition with them in varying degrees. It therefore was with 
much pleasure and surprise that, through the efforts of a 
male officer and his men, I was made to feel that they were 
happy and proud to welcome me back in the Marine Corps 
as a regular officer. At that time I was completing some 
studies at the University of Southern California and was or- 
dered to report to the CO, MB, NB, [Commanding Officer, 
Marine Barracks, Naval Base] Long Beach to be sworn into 
the Regular Marine Corps. The CO (Lieutenant Colonel 
Charles T. Hodges] put on a formal parade, with all his men 
in dress blues and held the swearing in ceremony on the 
parade grounds, followed by a reception in my honor. Pic- 
tures and a write-up appeared in two of the L.A. papers 
and in the USC paper. I think this first experience as a regular 
officer not only made me feel that I was again a part of the 
Marine Corps but also served to erase my doubts as to ac- 
ceptance as a regular officer. 20 

Reindoctrination of the Officers 

In view of the long period of inactive service for 
most of the returning women — over two years for 
some — Colonel Towle planned a short reindoctrina- 
tion course to be held at Henderson Hall. The one- 
time class of 17 of the new officers was scheduled for 
13 to 17 December under the direction of Captain II- 



26 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



lich. Then one of these officers was to be selected to 
conduct similar training classes for the enlisted wom- 
en to begin in January. 21 

Reindoctrination for the officers included classes in 
administration, naval law, military customs and courte- 
sies, leadership, recruiting, and a discussion of the role 
of women in the Regular services. There was a myriad 
of administrative details to attend to and then there 
was the matter of "close order drill." 

In her wisdom, Colonel Towle asked for an indoor 
hall where the officers could drill unobserved, and so 
the Post Theater at Henderson Hall became their drill 
field. But the colonel underestimated the drawing 
power of the sight of women officers in a military for- 
mation trying to recapture the marching precision of 
their "candidate days." Enlisted men crowded in the 
doorways and enlisted women filled the projection 
booth to watch the group in which, retired First Ser- 
geant Betty Schultz remembered, "Each officer had 
a step of her own." 22 To make matters worse, the floor 
was slippery and the women were self-conscious of their 
too short, and in some cases too tight uniforms in front 
of the onlookers and in particular in front of the hand- 
some drill instructor, First Lieutenant William H. 
Lanagan, Jr., later to be a brigadier general. 

Most of those women had never expected to return 
to the Marine Corps and were lucky if they had even 
one uniform as a souvenir of their days in the Corps. 
After the war, skirt lengths dropped drastically with 
the arrival of the fashion called "The New Look." 
Lengthening skirts became a major preoccupation. 
"We were very interested in looking each other over 
to see how we managed to put together a uniform," 
recalled Colonel Henderson. Like the other tall wom- 
en, her only recourse had been to insert a piece of 
fabric just below the skirt waistband. This meant, of 
course, that she could never remove her jacket. 23 

They had the opportunity to order new uniforms 
from the tailor during the week of reindoctrination, 
but there was no solution to the problem of the 
fashionable longer skirts hanging several inches below 
the short overcoats. Major General William P. T. Hill, 
the Quartermaster General, insisted upon depleting 
the wartime supply of uniforms before ordering new 
ones but later he relented and bought longer skirts 
which, of course, did not match the five-year-old 
jackets. 24 

It is likely, believing that they had seen the last of 
the women, that the Marines sold WR uniforms to sur- 
plus dealers after the war. Although no documents 



have been found to prove it, the evidence is convinc- 
ing. When PL. 625 was finally signed by President 
Truman, a surplus dealer came to Headquarters and 
offered to sell WR uniforms to Lieutenant Hale. There 
is a well-known story of a former woman Reservist 
shopping in a Pittsburgh department store and find- 
ing all the elevator operators dressed in Marine uni- 
forms complete with the distinctive buttons. But 
perhaps the worst incident of all is the one told by 
Colonel Hamblet. Among the novelties for sale by a 
concessionaire at the circus was a woman Marine uni- 
form hat. There was but one displayed and she bought 
it. 25 

Next to the uniform problem, the officers in that 
first group were confronted by the postwar Washing- 
ton housing shortage. Although some expected to be 
permanently stationed in the area, others knew that 
their stay was temporary. Tired of paying exorbitant 
rates in a downtown hotel, about 10 of them rented 
several unfurnished apartments in Shirlington (Arling- 
ton, Virginia), a few miles from Marine Corps Head- 
quarters. Captain Hill, the OIC (Officer in Charge) 
of the enlisted reindoctrination program, was able to 
borrow cots, dressers, and mess tables from Head- 
quarters Battalion, Henderson Hall, and thus allow 
the women to set up "squadbays" in the empty apart- 
ments. A card table and chairs were loaned by newly 
arrived Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, when his secre- 
tary, June Hendrickson, joined the group. 26 

Reindoctrination of Enlisted WMs 

Beginning in January 1949, Captain Hill supervis- 
ed a series of enlisted reindoctrination classes and had 
an office at Henderson Hall. The women had to be 
issued uniforms, reclassified, and given refresher classes 
in military subjects. As with the officers, much time 
was spent on administrative matters such as allotments, 
savings bond purchases, issuance of new identification 
cards and tags (dog tags), photographs, and physicals. 
The WMs attended the five-day class in groups of 15 
and were billeted in the former dispensary during the 
course. 

Twenty-seven women Reservists living on the west 
coast were selected for transfer to Regular status and 
Captain Illich went to the Headquarters of the Depart- 
ment of Pacific in San Francisco in late January to con- 
duct their training on the spot. In a letter to the 
commanding general, Major General Leroy P. Hunt, 
Colonel Towle explained the reindoctrination course 
and made assurances that Captain Illich could han- 
dle it with a minimum of effort on the part of the 



GOING REGULAR 



11 



general's staff. She also told him of her intention to 
assign First Lieutenant Margaret Stevenson to the 
Department of Pacific. Tactfully, she wrote: 

As you probably know, it was always the policy in the 
MCWR to have at least one woman officer detailed to duty 
at a post or station where enlisted women were serving, who 
in addition to her regular assignment, could have general 
supervision over their welfare, appearance, etc. and to whom 
they could go for advice and information if they wanted to. 
I believe such a policy is sound and highly desirable for many 
reasons. 

Lieutenant Stevenson has had Quartermaster training, but 
can, I feel certain, do almost any kind of administrative work. 
She had an excellent record as a Reserve officer, is most con- 
scientious and sincere, and very pleased with her assignment. 
I am sure you too will be pleased to have such a competent 
woman officer as our first "regular" representative in your 
Headquarters. Since she comes from California, she is as 
amazed as she is pleased that the Marine Corps is sending 
her back there for duty. 

Forgive this long letter, but I thought this information 
might be of interest and assistance to you in your con- 
sideration of plans for the coming invasion of Women 
Marines. 27 

While the Director of Women Marines personally 
selected women officers with specific billets in mind, 
she was totally aware that assignment is a command 
prerogative and that she had no authority once the 
woman reported to her duty station. Colonel Towle, 
in her gracious way, developed the peacetime wom- 
en's organization in a spirit of cooperation rather than 
competition with the male Marines. After the initial 
doubts and outright opposition to the integration of 
women, it came as a pleasant surprise when the men 
not only tolerated the female presence but went out 
of their way to help them get established. 

Designation of Women Marines 

A Marine Corps Memorandum, dated 16 Novem- 
ber 1948, directed that women entering the Regular 
Marine Corps be referred to as "Women Marines," 
with "USMC-W" as the short title or reporting form. 
The identification of Reservists would be "USMCR- 
W." 28 Colonel Towle took great exception to the "W" 
and the proper designation of women Marines became 
one of her first priorities. She suggested an alterna- 
tive in a memorandum which stated: 

It is believed the apparent inconsistencies can be resolv- 
ed if the "W" as indicator of a woman Marine were used 
with the service number rather than as a component desig- 
nator. For example: Second Lieutenant Jane Doe, USMC 
(W050123) (0105) or for a reservist, Sergeant Jane Doe, 
USMCR (W755123) (0143). This is clear and concise, and 



would be used in every instance in official correspondence, 
orders, records, and publications where the service number 
is customarily indicated. It would also be evidence, which 
the Director of Women Marines considers important for the 
morale and prestige of the women, that women are an in- 
tegral part of the Marine Corps or the Marine Corps Reserve, 
and not relegated to a specially constituted women's com- 
ponent as USMC-W and USMCR-W imply. 29 

Her plan met with some opposition. While one staff 
comment noted the naval tradition to identify non- 
combatant components; for example, Captain Joe Doe 
(MC), another suggested the idea could be carried to 
the extreme and cooks would be designated Corporal 
Joe Doe, USMC-C. Written, staffed, and rewritten, 
the recommendation was finally approved on 17 
March 1950 and thereafter the "W" was placed be- 
fore the serial number of women Marines. 30 

In the same vein, Colonel Towle preferred the word 
"women" to "female," and in her comments on a pro- 
posed order regarding officer promotion examination, 
she wrote: 

The use of "female" instead of "women" in referring to 
the distaff side of the Marine Corps was gone into quite 
thoroughly when the new Marine Corps Manual was writ- 
ten. It was finally agreed upon that "women" would be the 
accepted terminology even when used as an adjective, e.g., 
"Women Marines," "women officer," etc. The usage fol- 
lows that established in Public Law 625, "Women's Armed 
Services Integration Act of 1948." From a purist's point of 
view "female" may be correct when used as a counterpart 
of male, but from a woman's point of view it is very objec- 
tionable. I would appreciate, therefore, having reference to 
"female" deleted and "women" substituted .... 

This sounds a little like "the battle of the sexes." It won't 
be unless we are called "females"! 31 

Recruit Training Established at Parris Island 

The idea that only 200 new recruits would require 
basic training during the first two years was soon aban- 
doned. On 29 November 1948, even before the trans- 
fer program was completed, Colonel Towle was 
investigating the possibility of conducting woman 
recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. Be- 
cause the majority of women Marines would have to 
be recruited from among civilians, and because of the 
numbers involved, Henderson Hall was no longer con- 
sidered suitable. Not only was it too small, but it was 
not considered the type of Marine Corps post whose 
mission and atmosphere would help instill the desired 
espirit de corps and pride which distinguish Marine 
recruits. To strengthen her case, Colonel Towle point- 
ed out the convenience of having several appropriate 
specialist schools at Parris Island since training beyond 



28 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 







Capt Margaret M. Henderson (right) reads the order activating the 3 d 'Recruit Training 
Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, inFeburary 1949. 



bask military indoctrination would be essential if the 
WMs hoped to attain the mobilization objective of 
being a skilled group ready for expansion in case of 
war. 32 Happily, Major General Alfred H. Noble, Com- 
manding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Par- 
ris Island, gave his unqualified support to the idea. 

Captain Margaret M. Henderson was selected to 
head up recruit training. With no more written 
guidance than a piece of paper on which was typed 
the general training plan, she and several members 
of her staff went to work at a long table outside Col- 
onel Towle's office on the first floor of Marine Corps 
Headquarters. 33 Lieutenant Colonel Mary Hale, who 
as a lieutenant was assigned as training officer to the 
embryo command, believed that, "Margaret Hender- 
son was the perfect choke" to establish recruit train- 
ing. She had had extensive teaching experience in 
civilian schools and was OIC of the Marine Corps In- 
stitute Business School during the war. 34 

In early January, Captain Henderson accompanied 
Colonel Towle to Parris Island to inspect the available 
facilities and to discuss the proposed training sched- 
ule. The women were assigned Building 902 in the 



same area used by World War II WRs. They would 
share the mess hall, Building 900, and the adminis- 
tration/gymnasium facilities, building 914, with other 
activities, primarily the Recruit Depot's Instruction 
Company. 

Captain Henderson arrived at Parris Island for du- 
ty on 25 January with Lieutenant Arney who was on 
temporary duty to set up the WM uniform shop. By 
the end of the month Lieutenants Hale, Fisher, and 
Sustad reported and by mid-February the enlisted 
women were on the island, and all were attached to 
Headquarters Company, H&S Battalion, The roster in- 
cluded: 

Captain Margaret M. Henderson, Commanding Officer. 

First Lieutenant Jeanette I. Sustad, Executive Officer. 

First Lieutenant Mary J. Hale, Training Officer; Security Officer 

first Lieutenant Mary J. Fisher, Police & Property Officer; Spe- 
cial Services Officer. 

First Lieutenant Kathleen J. Arney, Temporary duty connected 
with WM uniform matters. 

Master Sergeant Elsie J. Miller, Sergeant Major. 

Technical Sergeant Bertha L. Peters, Chief Clerk. 

Technical Sergeant Barbara A. Ames, Special Services NCO. 

Staff Sergeant June V. Andler, Pay Clerk. 



GOING REGULAR 



29 



Staff Sergeant Dorothy T. Hunt, Instructor. 

Staff Sergeant Dorothy E. Sullivan, Platoon Sergeant. 

Sergeant Margaret K. Leier, Instructor. 

Sergeant Marie A. Proulx, Correspondence Clerk. 

Sergeant Ruth Ryan, Police Sergeant. 

Sergeant Bertha J. Schultz, Platoon Sergeant. 

Sergeant Agnes C. Thomas, Duty NCO. 

Sergeant Ardella M. Wheeler, Quartermaster Clerk. 

Sergeant Mary E. Zabriskie, Platoon Sergeant. 

Corporal Rosa V. Harrington, Instructor. 

Corporal Grace M. Karl, Instructor. 35 

Although set up like a battalion and so designat- 
ed, the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, the unit in no 
way resembled a battalion in size. A visiting Army 
general saw the "battalion" led by a captain and 
remarked, "Now I've seen everything!" The organiza- 
tional plan was deliberate, however, and was based on 
General Noble's desire that the senior woman Marine 
on the depot, Captain Henderson, have disciplinary 
control over all women Marines at Parris Island, Cap- 
tain Henderson was designated his advisor on mat- 



ters concerning WMs and as such was a member of 
his special staff. 36 

The six-week training schedule for women recruits 
was organized into eight periods daily Monday 
through Friday and four periods on Saturday for a to- 
tal of 264 hours. The objectives were stated as: 

1) To give basic Marine Corps indoctrination to women 
who have no previous experience. 

2) To give the women information on the part the Ma- 
rine Corps played in our national history and its place in 
the current National Military Establishment. 

3) To classify each individual to fill an available billet ac- 
cording to her abilities. 

4) To develop in each individual a sense of responsibili- 
ty, an understanding of the importance of teamwork, and 
a desire for self- improvement and advancement in the Ma- 
rine Corps. 37 

With those objectives in mind, the 20 women went 
to work preparing the barracks and classroom; writ- 
ing lesson plans, recruit regulations, and battalion ord- 
ers; making out training schedules and coordinating 



Future Director of Women Marines, IstLtJeanette I Sustad (standing second from left), 
is photographed with the original staff of the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Pams Island. 




30 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




» f, j> p p p * 




Platoon sergeants SSgt Dorothy E. Sullivan (left) and Sgt Betty J. Schultz (right) with 
the first platoon to undergo training at the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island. 



their plans with all the depot facilities that support- 
ed recruit training. The barracks needed little reno- 
vation, but they had to be scrubbed and shined to 
meet the standards of distaff Marines. Sergeant Ryan 
ordered bunks, locker boxes, linen, and supplies and 
her job was made easier by the depot supply people 
who saved their best for the 3d Battalion. Sergeants 
Schultz and Sullivan arranged squadbays. Several of 
the enlisted women had some college background, and 
they went to work writing lesson plans. Lieutenant 
Hale, a self-described "pack rat," made good use of 
orders and schedules she had saved from her wartime 
tour at the WR school at Camp Lejeune, and the Ma- 
rines of Instruction Company under the command of 
Major Gerald T Armitage helped in all facets of the 
preparation. 38 

The enlisted staff— all ranks from master sergeant 
to corporal— was billeted on the lower deck of Build- 
ing 902. Recruits would eventually occupy an upper 
squadbay. In addition to everything else, the women 
prepared themselves for this important assignment by 
practicing close order drill in an empty upper squad- 
bay. They had no other training, and they were as ap- 



prehensive about meeting the recruits as the recruits 
were about meeting them. 39 

The drill instructors were selected from among male 
Marines with experience on the drill field. Staff Ser- 
geant Jack W. Draughon had been a D.I. for two years 
when Lieutenant Colonel Herman Nickerson, Jr., 
asked him if he would be interested in the job with 
the 3d Battalion. After a careful screening by Cap- 
tain Henderson, Staff Sergeant Draughon, Sergeant 
Payton L. Lee, and Corporal Paul D Lute were assigned 
as the drill instructors. Sergeant Draughon remem- 
bered very clearly his first interview with Captain Hen- 
derson. It was strange in those days to sit across from 
a Marine captain answering, "Yes, ma'am" and "No, 
ma'am." Leaving her office, he met Lieutenant Colonel 
Nickerson and Colonel Russell N. Jordahl in the pas- 
sageway and Colonel Jordahl said, "So you're going 
to be the D. I. for the women Marines?" to which 
Draughon answered "Yes, ma'am." The story quickly 
made the rounds and Marine artist Norval E. Pack- 
wood immortalized the incident in a "Leatherneck" 
cartoon. 40 

The male drill instructors taught close order drill, 



GOING REGULAR 



31 



first aid, chemical warfare, and classes on general ord- 
ers. At first they had to endure some goodnatured 
harassment when they took the recruits outside the 
battalion area, and Marines taunted them with, "Hey 
Sarge, your slip is showing." To avoid snickers and kid- 
ding, Sergeant Draughon often got the platoon go- 
ing and then stepped up on the sidewalk and walked 
as if alone, but with one eye on his recruits. 41 

While the staff was still readying itself at Parris Is- 
land, the Marine Corps formally announced on 13 
January 1949 that enlistment was open to nonveterans. 
General requirements were somewhat stricter than 
those for WRs who transferred from Reserve to Regu- 
lar in that recruits had to be single, had to be high 
school graduates, and had to be approved by a board, 
convened quarterly, at Headquarters Marine Corps. 
Private Connie J. Lovil of Locksburg, Arkansas, was the 
first woman Marine recruit to arrive — reporting in on 
the day the battalion was formed, 23 February. 42 Re- 
tired First Sergeant Betty Schultz remembers being 
"scared as all heck," when going to Port Royal to meet 
the first contingent of recruits. She and Sergeant Dot- 
tie Sullivan were the platoon sergeants of Platoon 1A 
which began training on 2 March, donned its uniforms 
for the first time on the 11th, and graduated on Tues- 
day, 12 April. 43 

Colonel Towle came down from Headquarters as the 
guest of General Noble and together they attended 
the ceremonies which included an outdoor inspection, 
marching to the accompaniment of the Parris Island 
Drum and Bugle Corps, and the traditional speeches 
in the classroom. Of the 30 graduating recruits, 15 re- 
mained to attend Personnel Administration School 
and the rest were sent directly to Headauarters for 
duty. 44 

The First Black Women Marines 

It is rumored that several black women "passed" as 
white and served in the MCWR, but, officially, the 
first black women Marines enlisted during the sum- 
mer of 1949 and joined the 3d Recruit Training Bat- 
talion on 10 September. Platoon 7 therefore is believed 
to be one of the first racially integrated Marine Corps 
units since, at the time, black male Marines were 
segregated and trained separately. 45 

The press had often questioned Colonel Towle on 
the Marine Corps policy regarding black women, and 
she answered that they would be recruited the same 
as whites. During the congressional hearings, after the 
war, Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York 
had made quite an issue of the fact that no black wom- 
en had served in the MCWR. It was a serious matter 



complicated by the southern tradition of segregation. 
The number of black women Marines was sure to be 
too few to allow for any type of separate facilities and 
no one was quite certain how white women, unac- 
customed to mixing with blacks, would react to an in- 
tegrated barracks situation. 

Colonel Towle called Captain Henderson and told 
her that she would not send one black woman, by her- 
self, to Parris Island — this out of consideration for the 
woman. Captain Henderson and Lieutenants Sustad 
and Hale discussed what they foresaw as potential 
problems, and they decided to assign bunks to the in- 
coming platoon geographically rather than 
alphabetically— northern recruits at one end of the 
squadbay and southern recruits at the other. They told 
no one of the plan, including the platoon sergeants, 
and according to First Sergeant Schultz, they were 
completely unaware that the precaution had been 
taken. 46 

A more frivolous concern was the beauty shop. The 
white hairdressers from Beaufort did not know how 
to do the black women's hair, and it is doubtful that 
they would have been willing to do it in any case. Both 
Captain Henderson from Texas and Lieutenant Hale 
from Georgia knew that the recruits would need spe- 
cial preparations and equipment but neither was quite 
certain what they were. They enlisted the help of the 
black maid who worked in the Women Officers' Quart- 
ers to buy the necessary supplies. 47 When she had com- 
pleted all arrangements, Captain Henderson called in 
the staff and gave a stern warning that if anyone treat- 
ed these recruits differently from the others, they 
would answer to her. 

Ann Estelle Lamb of New York City, whose enlist- 
ment contract was signed by Major Louis H. Wilson, 
Jr., a future Commandant of the Marine Corps, and 
Annie E. Graham of Detroit arrived on the same day, 
and from all accounts their boot training was unevent- 
ful. 48 Although both women were from northern ci- 
ties they undoubtedly understood the time and the 
place, and they did not complain, for example, about 
fixing their own hair, after hours in Lieutenant Hale's 
office. 

No one connected with recruit training at the time 
remembers any unpleasantness and, in fact, Colonel 
Henderson now believes that the separation of the 
southerners from the blacks was unnecessary. She does 
recall, however, that the curiosity of the entire depot 
was piqued and that all eyes were on Platoon 7. 
Wherever they went, Marines, including the com- 
manding general, were at the window to stare. 49 



32 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Occasionally, recruits attended football games in 
Savannah, drawing lots for tickets. As chance would 
have it, Privates Lamb and Graham were among the 
lucky recruits one weekend and everyone took a deep 
breath as blacks and whites left together on their way 
to the segregated stadium. Again all went well. 50 * 

Private Lamb remained at Parris Island to attend 
the Personnel Administration School where she 
finished first in a class of 61. Now a student rather 



*See Henry I. Shaw, Jr., and Ralph W. Donnelly, Blacks in the 
Marine Corps (Washington: History and Museums Division, HQMC, 
1975), p. 56 for a discussion of General Noble's attitude towards 
integration while he was the Commanding General, Marine Corps 
Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C 



than a recruit, she went on liberty, but it was some- 
what inconvenient outside of the depot. Many years 
later, Colonel Henderson met a women who had been 
in charge of the USO at Beaufort during the period, 
and the woman told her of an incident concerning a 
WM who called to make reservations for roller skat- 
ing, but she said that there would be a Negro with 
the group and if she was not welcome, none of them 
would come. 51 

The third black woman Marine, enlisted in Chica- 
go in 1950, was Annie L. Grimes, destined to become 
a warrant officer in 1968 and the first black woman 
officer to retire after a full 20-year career. 52 From the 
beginning, black and white women Marines trained 
and lived together. Accounts differ as to whether the 



Pvt Annie L. Grimes, the third black woman to join the Marine Corps and destined to 
become the first black woman officer, with her recruit platoon at Parris Island, in 1930. 




GOING REGULAR 



33 



blacks were subjected to discrimination, but there is 
general agreement among active duty and former 
WMs that any discrimination or harassment directed 
at the black women was always a case of individual 
personalities and never a case of organizational bias * 

Establishing the Women Officers' 
Training Class at Quantico 

After the initial selection under the so-called trans- 
fer program, the only source of women officers was 
through the commissioning of second lieutenants who 
successfully completed the Women Officers' Training 
Class. The class, which vaguely resembled the male 
Platoon Leaders Course, was conducted at the Marine 
Corps Schools at Quantico. WOTC, as it was known, 
was the responsibility of the Commandant of the Ma- 
rine Corps Schools and fell under the operational con- 
trol of the Education Center and the administrative 
control of Headquarters Battalion. 

The class, held only in the summer, was divided 
into two six-week periods: the first a junior course; 
and the second a senior course. College graduates and 
seniors would attend both sessions, juniors would at- 
tend only the junior course, and qualified enlisted 
women were scheduled only for the senior course. Suc- 
cessful candidates who held a bachelor's degree and 
who were at least 2 1 years old would be commissioned 
second lieutenants in the Marine Corps Reserve. Only 
seven honor graduates would be offered Regular com- 
missions and these would then attend an additional 
eight-week Women Officers' Basic Indoctrination 
Course (WOIC) to be held at the Basic School. The 



*"I find it hard, in 1980, to look back on those days. But it was 
a fact of life during the years 1949 and 1950. My friends today are 
just friends, whether white or black. But I was just as guilty as any- 
one in the change process. I can recall that at MCAS, Cherry Point, 
I was very much concerned about the acceptance and /or treatment 
of my Negro enlisted women, who arrived in 1950 to become a part 
of WMD-2. It all worked out— thanks to the wisdom of Sgt Major 
Alice J. Connolly and T. Sgt Kathertne O'Keefe — two superb hu- 
man beings. 

When I learned that two Negro women would be reporting to 
my command, I was concerned. But I consulted my trusty Sgt Ma- 
jor Alice J. Connolly, and together we decided on a course of ac- 
tion. They would be billeted in an area with T. Sgt O'Keefe, a devout 
Christian woman, and if there were any problems, they would be 
referred to the Commanding Officer. How antiquated this deci- 
sion now seems to be! But in retrospect, it was important that we 
placed the two Negro women in areas where there would be minimal 
or no rejection — and, of course it worked. We had no problems." 
Col Helen A. Wilson comments on draft manuscript, dtd ljan80. 



Reservists could request assignment to continuous ac- 
tive duty, but most would return home in an inac- 
tive status. 

Each session was limited to about 50 candidates who 
were at least 18 years old; single; citizens of the Unit- 
ed States; and college graduates, or in the case of un- 
dergraduates, regularly enrolled in an accredited 
school and pursuing a course leading to a degree. En- 
listed women and former WRs who were college 
graduates or who could pass a college educational 
equivalency examination were encouraged to apply. 53 

Publicity for the program began in April 1949 but 
there were no pamphlets, posters, mailing lists, or 
other procurement aids. The recruiters' teams for the 
Platoon Leaders Course brought mimeographed in- 
formation sheets to the coeduational schools they visit- 
ed, but it was very late in the season for a class 
beginning in June. The first woman officer procure- 
ment officer was, in effect, Colonel Towle herself, who 
made a three-week tour in May of women's colleges 
in the northeast and southeast to acquaint the colleges 
and the students with the program. 54 

Captain Hill was selected to head the WOTC staff 
of four officers and six enlisted women, all temporarily 
assigned to Quantico and attached to the Schools 
Company, Headquarters Battalion. Captain Hill and 
Lieutenant Eunyce L. Brink left Headquarters on 20 
April for the five-month tour. Colonel Towle wrote 
long, explanatory letters to Captain Nita Bob Warner 
and Lieutenant Doris V. Kleberger, both Reservists, 
and asked them to join the staff. In her letter to Lieu- 
tenant Kleberger she wrote: 

While on active duty your base pay would be that of a 
first lieutenant. In case you have forgotten, $200.00 is a first 
lieutenant's pay. You would also, of course, be entitled to 
any longevity which you have earned. For every three years 
this is a 5 per cent increase. By this time, you must be very 
close to the second pay period, or 6 years. You would also 
draw the customary $21.00 a month subsistence. As you 
would be in Government quarters at Quantico you would 
not draw quarters allowance. 

Naturally, I have no way of knowing whether you are in 
a position to consider this proposition, or even whether you 
are interested. I can only hope for both, as I know you would 
help immeasurably in this important venture. I also think 
it could give you not only satisfaction in a job well done 
but afford you a rather pleasant and profitable occupation 
for the next few months. I would not, however, want to in- 
terfere with any future plans you may have made, or to have 
you sacrifice the permanency of a civilian occupation for tem- 
porary duty with the Marine Corps. Whether there would 
be opportunity for you to continue in a Reserve billet after 
this summer job is finished is something I cannot predict 



34 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




+ i 



Col Joseph C, Burger, commander of The Basic School, awards regular commissions to 
members of the first Woman Officer Training Class, 1949: Virginia M. Johnson, Essie 
M. Lucas, Anna F. Champlin, Eleanor M. Bach, Doris V. Kleberger, Betty J. Preston. 



right now. For a limited time there might be, but I don't 
want to hold that out as an inducement. 55 

At the time, both Captain Warner and Lieutenant 
Kleberger were graduate students at the University of 
California, Berkeley, and were personally known to 
Colonel Towle. Luckily for the woman Marine pro- 
gram, a number of competent WRs and former WRs 
were in school during that period and could afford 
to take a chance on a temporary assignment. Lieu- 
tenant Brink, a Regular officer, was temporarily 
detached from her duties as administrative assistant 
to the Director of Women Marines in order to be pla- 
toon leader. The staff was completed by Technical Ser- 
geant Janet R. Paterson, Technical Sergeant "A" Fern 
Schirmer, Staff Sergeant Mary S. Cookson, Sergeant 
Rosalie C. Evans, Corporal Helen C. Cathcart, and 
Corporal Anna M. Delaney. 56 Most of the instruction 



was done by male officers from the staffs of the Basic 
School, Junior School (later Amphibious Warfare 
School), and Senior School (later Command and Staff 
College). Colonel James T Wilbur and his staff at the 
Education Center worked very closely with Captain 
Hill in developing a syllabus, schedules, and lesson 
plans. 57 

The women were quartered in the old WR area over- 
looking the Potomac. The candidates and the enlist- 
ed staff were assigned to Barracks 3076 which was used 
as a dependents' school during the winter. The NCOs, 
on the lower deck, had a lounge and private rooms — 
the candidates were billeted in squad rooms on the 

Cap t Elsie E. Hill, officer-in- charge, conducts Satur- 
day morning personnel inspection of the first Wom- 
an Officer Training Class, Quantico, Virginia in 1949. 



GOING REGULAR 



35 




36 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



second deck. The four women officers lived nearby in 
Married Officers' Quarters, Building 3078, which was 
an apartment building converted from a barracks. It 
was unheard of at the time for women officers to live 
in bachelor officers' quarters, so they were given a 
three- bedroom apartment in the quarters reserved for 
married lieutenant colonels and colonels. Few colonels 
wanted to live in the building, yet there was some 
healthy grumbling about giving junior women Ma- 
rines a field grade apartment. 58 

In spite of the late start and the lack of recruiting 
material, 180 completed applications were received, 
and 67 candidates from 35 colleges began the junior 
course on 10 June 1949. They were welcomed by the 
Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools, Major 
General Shepherd, who told them he personally felt 
there was a "definite place for women Marines during 
peace, as there was during war," and he encouraged 
them to try for the Regular commissions. 59 General 
Shepherd had already given convincing evidence of 
his positive view toward women in the Marine Corps 
with his efforts to keep WRs on duty after World War 
II. In recalling the period, Lieutenant Colonel Hill 
stated emphatically that the women could not have 
managed the officer training on such short notice 
without the "marvelous support" of the male Marines 
at Quantico, especially General Shepherd. He took an 
active interest in their training, often appearing dur- 
ing a drill period, where as a perfect southern gentle- 
man he always removed his hat when speaking to a 
woman Marine — no matter what her rank. 60 

The first WOTC graduation exercises were held on 
9 September 1949 in the auditorium of the Am- 
phibious Warfare School, Junior Course. Thirty-four 
candidates were recommended for commissions: 18 
immediately and 16 pending the receipt of a bachelors' 
degree. A quota of seven Regular commissions was al- 
lowed. Those to be appointed Regular officers were: 

Eleanor M. Bach 

Essie M. Lucas (former WR; later Dowler) 
Joan Morrissey 

Betty J. Preston (among the first enlisted WRs sworn into the 
Regular Marine Corps on 10 November 1948) 
Anna F. Champlin 
Virginia M. Johnson (later Sherman) 61 

The seventh and last one was given to Lieutenant 
Kleberger, who was in competition with the candidates 
in her platoon. In a 1977 letter to the History and 
Museums Division, Lieutenant Colonel Kleberger 
wrote: 



While serving on the staff, my interest in remaining in 
the Marine Corps became very intense. I discovered that I 
met all "requirements for commissioning" (including age 
. . . less than 27 on 1 July of the year of commissioning) 
with the exception of the requirement that I be a graduate 
of WOTC. I requested commissioning in accordance with 
existing regulations, requesting that "graduation from 
WOTC" be waived in that I was a platoon leader and cer- 
tainly possessed the required training. Additionally, in view 
of my six years in the Marine Corps Reserve, 1 requested ap- 
pointment to the rank of first lieutenant (a request that was 
not granted). 62 

This case was repeated in 1950 when Lieutenant 
Elaine T. Carville, then on continuous active duty, 
asked to be transferred to the Regular Marine Corps. 
Since there were so few vacancies and they were view- 
ed as recruiting incentives, the Procurement Branch 
opposed the idea of giving Regular appointments to 
former WR officers. Having approved Lieutenant Kle- 
berger's case just a year earlier, Colonel Towle felt that 
Lieutenant Carville should have the same opportuni- 
ty to compete for a regular commission. Her comments 
included: 

Unfortunately, there is nothing that I can find to prevent 
former WR officers from applying for regular commissions 
providing they meet all requirements, including that of age. 
When the directive concerning the "transfer" program was 
written this loophole was apparently not considered. Actu- 
ally because of the age requirement I doubt if we will have 
many, if any, more such requests; most of the MCWR officers 
are already too old even with service adjusted age. Carville 
herself just got under the wire. 

Since the WOTC had been set up as the sole means of 
procuring regular women officers, 1 would not approve of 
Carville not being required to take some training. It might 
be possible to assign her as a platoon commander as we did 
Kleberger last summer, which could excuse her from atten- 
ding the WOTC, or her present duties as Assistant Inspector- 
Instructor of an organized reserve platoon might be consi- 
dered equivalent training. Certainly, however, she should 
be required to attend the two months of additional indoc- 
trination if selected for a regular commission as second lieu- 
tenant. . . . 

Fortunately, Lieutenant Carville is, I understand from var- 
ious sources, a capable officer, and if selected would proba- 
bly be a credit to the Marine Corps. But if her request is 
approved she should be given to understand: 

(1) That she will compete with WOTC graduates on an 
equal basis, with no prior assurance of selection. 

(2) That she can in no event receive a regular commis- 
sion higher than second lieutenant. 

(3) That she would have to complete such basic indoc- 
trination as the Marine Corps prescribes. 63 

These women, Doris Kleberger and Elaine Carville, 
both retired lieutenant colonels, were the only form- 
er WRs who had to take a demotion upon transfer to 



GOING REGULAR 



37 



the Regular Marine Corps. Captain Warner, the assis- 
tant OIC that summer at Quantico, did not meet the 
age requirements for transfer and remained a Reser- 
vist, During the Korean War, another integration pro- 
gram opened, and she was able to integrate without 
losing any rank, 

A problem surfaced in 1953 when Lieutenants Kle- 
berger and Carville found: 

. . . that we were subject to separation from the Marine 
Corps under RL. 625 because of the loophole in the law that 
neither the Marine Corps nor either of us considered when 
accepting commissions as second lieutenants with date of 
rank of 1949 and 1950, respectively. Basically, this provided 
for the separation of officers who had completed seven years 
of active commissioned service, regular and reserve, and who 
had not been selected for the rank of Captain. JAG ruled 
that we could not eliminate our reserve active time and there 
was no way we could become eligible for Captain before 



reaching that seven years of active commissioned service. This 
eventually required seeking relief from the Board of Cor- 
rection of Naval Records and subsequent reassignment of 
date of rank to provide eligibility for the rank of Captain 
before mandatory separation. 94 

In addition to the Regular commissions awarded to 
members of the first class, Reserve commissions were 
given to: Sara J, Anderson, Nedra C, Calender, Cather- 
ine L. Frazier, Pearl A, Jackson, Mildred D, Morrow, 
Mary E. O'Donnel, Emily C, Ogburn, Shirley A. Pritz- 
ker, Margaret C, Roberts, Barbara J. Stephenson, Phyl- 
lis L. Jones, and Marie L. Henry, 65 Among the 16 
undergraduates who returned to school, but later 
served on active duty were Barbara B. Kasdorf, Joan 
P. O'Neil, Natalie Noble, and Mary Sue Mock. 

The seven "Regulars" were assigned to the Basic 
School and began the Woman Officers' Indoctrination 



Capt Elsie E, Hill, officer-in-charge , leads candidates of the first Woman Officer Can- 
didate Class as they parade on Barnett Avenue, Quantico, Virginia, summer 1949- 




38 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Course on 23 September, but an administrative de- 
tail delayed their commissioning until the end of the 
month. During the intervening week, WOIC consist- 
ed of one Reserve first lieutenant and six Reserve 
sergeants — one of whom, Joan Morrissey, was under- 
age and had to complete the entire course as an en- 
listed woman. 66 

Captain Hill, assigned to the S-3 of the Basic School, 
and now the only woman staff officer left at Quanti- 
co, accompanied the students on a trip to Parris Is- 
land which was planned to acquaint the new officers 



with recruit training and to give them the opportunity 
to drill enlisted troops. In the fall of 1949, there were 
no enlisted women — except Sergeant Morrissey— 
stationed at Quantico, and it was awkward, if not im- 
possible, to conduct any type of close order drill with 
a formation of seven women. 67 

Upon graduation, 18 November, the lieutenants 
were transferred and Captain Hill was reassigned to 
the Testing and Educational Unit, thereby becoming 
the first postwar woman Marine to be permanently sta- 
tioned at Quantico. 68 



CHAPTER 4 

The Korean War Years 

Organized Reserve Gets Underway — Mission and Administration— The First Seven WR Platoons 

Add Six More Platoons— Mobilization of Organized Reserve Units, Korea 

Volunteer Reservists Answer The Call— Women Marines Return to Posts and Stations 

Korean War Brings Changes to Recruit Training— A Few Changes at Officer Candidate School 

The Korean Years, Reprise 



Organized Reserve Gets Underway 

Of equal importance to the integration of women 
into the regular service was the development of a 
strong women's Reserve. During the early phases of 
planning, in 1946-47, Colonel Pate, Director, Divi- 
sion of Reserve, was a strong advocate of Organized 
Reserve units for women. He frequently found him- 
self defending this relatively unpopular idea — an idea 
unique to the Marine Corps. 1 Senior Marines at Head- 
quarters recognized the need for a women's Reserve, 
but Marines, by and large, shuddered at the thought 
of this female intrusion. Little by little, the concept 
gained wider acceptance especially when it was consi- 
dered as an alternative to women Regulars. It effec- 
tively solved the problem of maintaining the affiliation 
of the WRs and of training a group who would even- 
tually take their place. 

Until February 1949, the Division of Reserve still 
thought in terms of 30 women's companies with a to- 
tal strength of 60 officers and 1,500 enlisted women, 
but in reviewing the Marine Corps budget for fiscal 
year 1950, the Bureau of the Budget reduced the es- 
timate and eliminated the provisions for drill pay for 
organized women's companies. The Division of Plans 
and Policies reexamined the location of existing or- 
ganized units with the purpose of determining those 
in which women's detachments could readily be justi- 
fied. Based upon the premise that any locality in which 
500 or more enlisted personnel were administered 
would justify a women's Reserve detachment, the study 
recommended the activation of 30 women's platoons. 2 
By March, the plans were finally approved for 15 pla- 
toons of two officers and 50 enlisted women each. 
Major Hamblet and Lieutenant Hale studied the case 
files of former WRs and made projected plans based 
on the size of existing male Reserve units, the geo- 
graphic concentration of WR veterans, and upon avail- 
able training facilities. In the end, they settled on the 
seven most promising locations in which to begin: 
Kansas City; Boston; Los Angeles; New \brk; Philadel- 
phia; San Francisco; and Seattle. 3 

A mix of Regular and Reserve officers on continuous 
active duty would administer the program. Women 



were needed to serve as Inspector-Instructor for each 
planned unit and for duty in the various Reserve Dis- 
trict offices to give overall supervision to women's mat- 
ters. Accordingly, a board was convened in March and 
the following selections were made for Inspector- 
Instructors: Captain Shirley J. Fuetsch, Los Angeles; 
Captain Helen A. Wilson, Philadelphia; First Lieu- 
tenant Frances M. Exum, Seattle; First Lieutenant 
Mary C. MacDonald, New York; and First Lieutenant 
Kathryn E. Snyder, San Francisco. For duty in Reserve 
District offices, the following officers: Captain Con- 
stance Risegari-Gai, Boston; Captain Barbara Somers, 
New York; First Lieutenant Dolores L. Dubinsky, 
Philadelphia; First Lieutenant Lucille M. Olsen, 
Washington, D.C.; First Lieutenant Annie V. Bean, 
New Orleans; First Lieutenant Mary E. Roddy, Chica- 
go; First Lieutenant Elva B. Chaffer, Los Angeles; First 
Lieutenant Beatrice R. Strong, San Francisco; First 
Lieutenant Mildred N. Cooke, Seattle; and First Lieu- 
tenant Mary W. Frazer, Atlanta. 4 

Mission and Administration 

Reserve Memorandum 15-49 of 14 March 1949 pub- 
lished the specifics of administration and training of 
the women's portion of the Organized Reserve. 5 The 
mission of these units was to provide individual wom- 
en trained to meet mobilization needs of the Marine 
Corps. They were not classified by specialty as the male 
Reserve units were or as post-Korea women Reserve 
platoons would be. Designated women's Reserve pla- 
toons (WR platoons), they were attached directly to 
the major parent male unit as an organic element 
(e.g., WR Platoon, 11th Infantry Battalion) and not 
to any subunit. Inasmuch as the women were neither 
assigned to, nor trained for, combat duties, they were 
grouped into five subdivisions under Reserve Class VI 
in order to permit immediate distinction between men 
and women in case of mobilization. 6 

The male Inspector-Instructor staff was augment- 
ed by one woman officer, designated an assistant I&I, 
and one or two enlisted women who administered the 
WR platoon. The platoon was under the direct com- 
mand of the commanding officer, a platoon leader, 
and a platoon officer. In many ways the platoon was 

39 



40 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



autonomous since the platoon leader was responsible 
for recruiting, administration, training, rank distribu- 
tion, and the mobilization state of readiness of her 
platoon. Furthermore, she was directed to render ad- 
ministrative assistance to the male unit to compen- 
sate for the increased workload caused by the existence 
of the WR platoon. Very often, however, the women 
actually took over much of the parent unit's adminis- 
tration. 

The WR platoons held weekly two-hour training 
periods during which their time was divided between 
formal classes, basic military indoctrination courses for 
the nonveterans, and specialist training classes in sub- 
jects like administration, disbursing, or training aids 
depending upon the background of the members, and 
giving clerical assistance to the male unit. It was ex- 
pected that the basic course, closely resembling recruit 
training, and consisting of classes in drill, military cus- 
toms and courtesies, history of the Marine Corps, naval 
law, interior guard duty, first aid, defense against 
chemical attack, uniform regulations, and current 
events would take about two years to complete. 

Officers were procured only from among former WR 
officers and successful graduates of the WOTC at 
Quantico. Enlisted members were recruited from 
among WRs, women veterans of the Armed Forces, 
and nonveterans who met the qualifications. Ibr vete- 
rans, the age limits specified that all previous active 
military service plus all inactive service in the Reserve 
must, when deducted from their actual age, equal 32 
or less. Aspiring Reservists with no prior service had 
somewhat less stringent requirements than women be- 
ing recruited for active duty: age, 18-31; and educa- 
tion, high school graduate, or high school student and 
pass the equivalency test. Regular recruits, on the other 
hand, had to be 20 years old and high school 
graduates. 

To complete the organization, the Division of 
Reserve requested that WAVE pharmacist mates be in- 
cluded in the naval personnel allowance for those units 
which had a WR platoon. The decision was approved 
in the interest of public opinion, as well as health and 
accident security. 7 

The First Seven WR Platoons 

The first WR platoon was activated on 14 April 1949 
at Kansas City, Missouri. A Regular officer, First Lieu- 
tenant Ben Alice Day, was appointed Assistant I&I of 
the 5th 105mm Howitzer Battalion, USMCR, and 
Major Helen T. Chambers was assigned platoon lead- 



er. In a very short time the platoon was up to its autho- 
rized strength. 8 

First Lieutenant Pauline 'Tolly 1 ' F. Riley, Irish and 
from Maine, was sent to Boston to activate the second 
WR platoon. Lieutenant Riley, formerly enlisted, was 
a member of the last WR officer candidate class in 
1945. The class was made up entirely of enlisted WRs, 
and when World War II was declared over about a week 
before commissioning, the students were given three 
options: return to enlisted status, take a discharge if 
they had the required points, or accept the commis- 
sion and remain on active duty for one year. Most of 
the candidates took the discharge or returned to en- 
listed status, but Lieutenant Riley was commissioned 
in August 1945 and served at Headquarters until 1947 
on the Postwar Personnel Reorganization Board. She 
was released to inactive duty when the board was ter- 
minated and later was among the first 20 Regular 
women officers. 9 

With her New England background, it was logical 
to send Lieutenant Riley to Boston, where the WR Pla- 
toon, 2d Infantry Battalion, USMCR, was established 
on 22 April 1949 under the command of Lieutenant 
Colonel James Dugan and with Lieutenant Carolyn 
Tenteris as the platoon officer. 10 

Former WRs Staff Sergeant Frances A. Curwen, Staff 
Sergeant Katherine Keefe, Corporal Hazel A. Lindahl, 
and Corporal Dorothy M. Munroe were early mem- 
bers of the Boston unit. Among the nonveterans was 
Private Eleanor L. Judge, who originally enlisted in 
the Reserve because she happened to be free on Wed- 
nesday evenings, the women's scheduled drill night. 
But that was only the beginning; in 1977 with 27 years 
active service as a Regular, she reenlisted for three more 
years. 1 1 

Sergeant Major Judge remembered that the wom- 
en were "put through a pace." There were classes to 
attend as well as battalion administrative work to be 
done. The non-veterans were not issued regulation 
shoes and they drilled in their own civilian shoes which 
proved impractical and uncomfortable. The classes in 
naval law, taught by Sergeant Mary L. Attaya, a law- 
yer, were complete with mock trials in which the wom- 
en played active roles, and there were Hollywood-made 
movies featuring the Marine Corps. 12 For all of this, 
a private was paid $2.50 per drill and a captain received 
$7.67. 13 

Captain Risegari-Gai, formerly the commanding 
officer of VTU l-l(WR), Boston, was not a member 
since she had been selected for a continuous active 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



41 




Capt Rosalie B. Johnson, assistant inspector-instructor of the 5th Infantry Battalion, 
Washington, D. C. , discusses the formation of the local Organized Women 's Reserve Pla- 
toon with Rachel Freeman, Charlotte De Garmo, and Sgt Theresa "Sue" M. Sousa. 



duty billet in the office of the First Reserve District, 
which in those days was located in the Fargo Building 
in Boston. When Captain Risegari-Gai reported for 
duty, Colonel George O. Van Orden, District Direc- 
tor, and a Virginia gentleman, was quoted in the 
Boston newspaper as saying that his first sergeant 
needed a week off to recuperate because he was, 
". . . the finest cussin gent yo'all ever did hear Had 
to pretty up his language, though, with all these lady 
Marines around. He's a beaten man" The colonel, 
himself, had never seen a woman Marine until he ar- 
rived in Boston, saw Captain Risegari-Gai, and 
described himself as "thunderstruck." 14 

The next five platoons were organized by Reserve 
officers on continuous active duty, and it was neces- 
sary for them to go to Washington for a briefing be- 
fore taking up their new duties. Captain Helen A. 



Wilson was then sent to Philadelphia where recruit- 
ing was simplified when the entire VTU under the 
command of Captain Dorothy M. Knox transferred to 
the Organized Reserve. The unit became the WR pla- 
toon, 6th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, with Captain 
Knox as platoon leader and First Lieutenant Emily 
Horner as platoon officer. 

From Philadephia, Captain Wilson kept Colonel 
Towle informed of the platoon's progress and activities. 
By Christmas of 1949, recruiting was so successful that 
the unit was permitted to exceed its authorized 
strength by 10 percent. When the male commanding 
officers of other battalions heard of this, they were very 
much interested in receiving a similar authorization. 
The women in Philadelphia formed a rifle team, and 
a bowling team, and even fielded a team for a swim 
meet. 



42 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



In response to one of Captain Wilson s informal 
reports, Colonel Towle, always conscious of the service 
woman's image, wrote: 

I think you were wise to put a stop to post drill activities 
such as drinking in bars while in uniform. There is nothing 
intrinsically wrong, of course, but the very fact that a wom- 
an is in uniform makes her liable to criticism even though 
she is behaving herself in every respect. As you say, Wom- 
en Marines have established a fine reputation and it would 
be most unfortunate to have any criticism leveled at them, 
especially when we ourselves can do much to prevent it. I 
think you have shown excellent judgement in your de- 
cision. 15 

First Lieutenant Kathryn E. Snyder, who had serv- 
ed at the Department of the Pacific during World War 
II, was assigned as Assistant I&I, 12th Infantry Bat- 
talion, Treasure Island, and together with the Reserve 
officers Lieutenants Katherine W. Love and Marjorie 
J. Woolman, started San Francisco's WR platoon, 
whose roster included Sergeant Alameda Blessing; 
Corporal Rosita A. Martinez, who eventually in- 
tegrated and retired as a master gunnery sergeant; and 
Corporal Ouida Craddock, who also went Regular, and 
later became the Sergeant Major of the Women 
Marines. 16 

Captain Shirley J. Fuetsch and First Lieutenant 
Frances M. Exum drove west together and parted at 
Denver — Fuetsch to go to the 13th Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, in Los Angeles and Exum to go to the 11th 
Infantry Battalion, USMCR, at Seattle. In Los Angeles, 
two Reserve First Lieutenants, Esther N. Gaffney and 
Christine S. Strain, took the reins of the WR platoon 
while the Seattle unit was headed by Captain Nancy 
M. Roberts and First Lieutenant Fern D. Anderson. 17 

First Lieutenant Mary C MacDonald, who before 
the war had been personal secretary to Laurence Olivier 
and Vivien Leigh, was sent to New York to activate 
the WR platoon, 1st Infantry Battalion, USMCR, at 
Eort Schuyler. Captain Mildred Gannon and First Lieu- 
tenant Elizabeth Noble filled the two Reserve officer 
billets. Like Philadelphia, the Fort Schuyler platoon 
also increased its strength to 55, but eventually the 
authorization was rescinded, and the women had to 
"keep on their toes" to stay in. Those with poor at- 
tendence records were transferred involuntarily to the 
Inactive Reserve, and the platoon maintained a wait- 
ing list of potential recruits. 18 

Add Six More Platoons 

After the original seven platoons were well estab- 
lished, plans were announced for an additional four. 
On 15 October 1949, WR platoons were activated as 



elements of the 4th Infantry Battalion, Minneapolis; 
the 5th Infantry Battalion, Washington, D.C.; and the 
9th Infantry Battalion at Chicago. On 1 November, 
the fourth WR Platoon was activated at St. Louis as 
part of the 3d Infantry Battalion. 

Chicago's WRs were led by First Lieutenant 
Genevieve M. Dooner who had compiled quite a 
record as a volunteer recruiting officer in the postwar 
years. She was assisted by platoon officer Lieutenant 
Isabel F. Vosler and I&I Lieutenant Dorothy 
Holmberg. 

First Lieutenant Elaine T. Carville, although of 
French background and from Louisiana, was ordered 
to Minneapolis because "she looked like a Swede." A 
Reserve officer on extended active duty, she activat- 
ed the WR Platoon, 4th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 
which came under the leadership of First Lieutenant 
Ardath Bierlein and Second Lieutenant Phyllis Da- 
vis. Well known for her enthusiasm and esprit de 
corps, Lieutenant Carville soon had a unit made up 
of 10 former WRs, 37 nonveterans, 2 ex- WAVES, and 
1 ex-SPAR. Minneapolis-St. Paul had been chosen for 
a WR platoon from among a number of cities which 
had asked for one. The large number of wartime WRs 
from Minnesota plus the personal interest in the 
project displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Emmet O. 
Swanson, commanding officer of the 4th Battalion, 
combined to bring the unit to the "Twin Cities." 

When plans for the platoon were first announced, 
250 inquiries flooded the Reserve office at Wold- 
Chamberlain Naval Air Station. Lieutenant Carville 
personally interviewed 150 applicants. The first group 
of 45 selectees was sworn in on 2 November 1949 by 
Brigadier General Elmer H. Salzman in a ceremony 
at the airfield. Wartime WRs included Master Sergeant 
Cecilia Nadeau, Staff Sergeant Lucille Almon, Staff 
Sergeant Leona Dickey, Staff Sergeant Betty Guenther, 
Sergeant Gladyce Pederson, Sergeant Anna Homza, 
Private First Class Betty Lemnke, Private First Class 
Grace Moak, Private First Class Ruth Mortenson, and 
Private First Class Kathleen Schoenecker. Among the 
nonveterans was Private Julia L. Bennke, who later 
went on to a full active duty career and retired in 1970 
as a master sergeant. 

Despite the commanding officer's enthusiasm for 
a WR platoon some members of his staff were con- 
cerned at the changes it would bring. Reportedly, Ser- 
geant Major Thomas Polvogt said that on occasion he 
would issue rifles to the women Marines so they would 
know what they were dealing in when they handled 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



43 



records for M-ls issued to guards, but he was not go- 
ing to be responsible for powder puffs "or them other 
things they are going to issue." Lieutenant Carville as- 
sured him that the women would be issued full Ma- 
rine Corps uniforms "from the skin out" and Sergeant 
Major Polvogt would not have to worry about "them 
other things." 19 

Captain Jeanette Pearson, Assistant I&I of the 5th 
Infantry Battalion, USMCR, Washington, D.C., ac- 
tivated that WR platoon with Major Mary L. Condon 
as platoon leader and First Lieutenant Ethel D. Fritts 
as platoon officer. Theresa "Sue" M. Sousa, later presi- 
dent of the Women Marines Association, was an early 
member of that very active unit which met at 230 C 
Street, N.W. 20 

After the first WOTC, Captain Nita Bob Warner, 
selected for a three-year active duty contract, left 
Quantico for a Headquarters Marine Corps briefing 
before setting out for St. Louis to form the WR Pla- 
toon, 3d Infantry Battalion, USMCR. Officially ac- 
tivated on 1 November 1949, the unit received a great 
deal of publicity. On the night that enlistments 
opened, more than 100 applicants — one of whom was 
former WR Peggy Musselman, later assigned as the 
platoon leader— came to the Navy-Marine Corps 
Reserve Training Center at the foot of Ferry Street. 
According to retired Lieutenant Colonel Warner, this 
unit was supposed to be self-contained. That meant 
they were to recruit or train women to handle all mat- 
ters of administration, supply, recruiting, disbursing, 
or whatever else it took to run an efficient organi- 
zation. 

Like the rest of the women Marine Reservists, those 
in St. Louis were shod in civilian shoes of various shades 
of brown and tan — an intolerable situation to Cap- 
tain Warner. She enlisted the help of Staff Sergeant 
Mabel Otten, stationed at Headquarters Marine Corps, 
who sent a full case of cordovan brown shoe dye to 
the WR platoon. All 50 Reservists spent one drill peri- 
od outside the armory ". . . wielding a bottle of cor- 
dovan brown shoe dye and shoe polish, dying their 
shoes dark brown and then learning how to give them 
a Marine Corps spit shine." When St. Louis saw its first 
women Marines, a proud group, on 20 May 1950 in 
an Armed Forces Day parade, they were stepping out 
in regulation cordovan brown shoes. 

As it turned out, the shoe color problem was more 
easily solved than that of providing the Reservists with 
summer uniforms. There were none! In the summer 
of 1950, Headquarters allowed the platoon two weeks 




Inspector-Instructor IstLt Doris V. Kleberger (stand- 
ing second from right) attends an Open House for the 
Women Reserve Platoon, 17th Infantry Battalion, 
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, in Detroit, 1930. 

of active duty for training at the armory, which they 
performed wearing the utility uniform — bib overalls 
and white T-shirts— which Lieutenant Colonel Warn- 
er laughingly recalls, " . . made really quite a hand- 
some outfit." 21 

February 1950 saw the formation of the last two WR 
platoons. Second Lieutenant Doris Kleberger left 
Quantico to become the Assistant I&I, 17th Infantry 
Battalion, USMCR, Detroit, with Captain Cecelia Van- 
den Bossche as the platoon leader. 22 

Captain Mary J. Hale went from Parris Island to Dal- 
las where she served as Assistant I&I, 2 3d 155mm 
Howitzer Battalion, USMCR. She remembers that the 
Marines, Regular and Reserve, were very proud of the 
preparations they had made to welcome the WR pla- 
toon. On the night of the open house, planned to kick 
off the recruiting effort, Dallas was the scene of a "ter- 
rible ice storm," but the Texans were undaunted and 
the unit was off to a good start. Captain Hazel C. Tyl- 
er was platoon leader and First Lieutenant Grace E. 
Kathan was platoon officer. Captain Hale, scrupulous 
in her explanation to recruits of a Reserve unit's mobili- 
zation potential, was asked by the I&I if she really had 
to emphasize the point so strongly. Fortunately she 
continued to make an issue of it because within six 
months mobilization became a fact. 23 



44 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Mobilization of Organized 
Reserve Units— Korea 

Within 15 months of the initiation of women into 
the Organized Reserve, the value of the program was 
realized with the mobilization of all 13 WR platoons. 
Women, as a result of the Korean crisis, and for the 
first time in American history, were called involuntarily 
to military service along with men. Mobilization of 
Reserves, including women veterans, was announced 
in June 1950. 

Since a number of women Reservists had belonged 
to organized platoons for only a few months, the term 
'Veteran ' was defined as women who had: 

a)served 90 days or more on active duty with the Marine 
Corps, Marine Corps Reserve; or 

b)attended 36 drills as members of an organized platoon; or 
c)attended 30 drills and 10 days active duty for training. 

Those women who did not meet the criteria were clas- 
sified as nonveterans, transferred to the Volunteer Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve, Class III, and directed to await 
orders to recruit training at Parris Island. 24 

Unfortunately, the 3d Recruit Training Battalion 
had closed down for the summer. Recruiting was some- 
thing of a disappointment and thus far, no women 



recruit platoon had reached its authorized strength of 
50. That fact coupled with the manner in which 
WOTC was organized — as a temporary unit estab- 
lished anew each summer — led to the decision to ter- 
minate training at Parris Island and to assign the staff 
to Quantico temporarily to conduct officer training. 
Platoon 2A, graduating in May, was the last sched- 
uled class until 18 September. Three officers and seven 
enlisted women from the permanent staff of 3d Recruit 
Training Battalion were temporarily reassigned to a 
subunit activated at Quantico on 2 June. The first 
group to leave Parris Island included Captain Jeanette 
I. Sustad, Second Lieutenants Joan Morrissey and Betty 
Preston, Technical Sergeant "A" Fern Schirmer, Staff 
Sergeant Bertha Schultz, and Sergeants Rosa V. Har- 
rington and Ruth Ryan. Sergeants Grace M. Karl and 
Agnes C. Thomas and Private First Class Allis V. Wall 
soon followed. 25 They were barely established in Vir- 
ginia when the news of mobilization broke and the 
urgent need for recruit training was realized, but it 
was too late to change plans as WOTC would be 
without a staff. So, when the WR platoons left for 
military duty, the nonveterans stayed behind expect- 
ing orders to Parris Island in early September. 
The women Reserve officers were not mobilized in 



Capt Cecelia Vanden Bossche, Commanding Officer, WR Platoon, 1 7th Infantry Battal- 
ion, Detroit, reads mobilization orders resulting from the Korean crisis in August 1950. 




THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



45 




MSgt Petrina C. Nigro leads the platoon of the first post-World War II women Marines 
assigned to Headquarters, Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, California in 1950. 



order to maintain a sufficient number of stateside 
billets to allow the rotation of male officers. Before 
the plan was published, several officers gave notice to 
their employers and prepared to leave for duty. The 
decision to exclude WM officers caused a morale 
problem at several levels of the women's Reserve pro- 
gram. According to retired Lieutenant Colonel Car- 
ville, Assistant I&I at Minneapolis at the time of 
1 mobilization, "It was a terrible, terrible, terrible mis- 
take!" The I&I hated to tell Reserve officers, who, in 
turn were embarrassed in front of their troops. The 
enlisted women were at first apprehensive at the 
thought of leaving without their own, familiar officers. 
Later, some were even angrily asking, "Why us, and 
not them?" 26 

The mobilization of the women caused by the con- 
flict in Korea brought two significant changes to the 
women Marine program: it enabled women Marines 
to return to several duty stations, from which they had 
been absent during the postwar years, and it enabled 
them to break out of the strictly administrative mold 
into which they were cast after World War II. An anal- 
ysis of tables of organization indicated that 1,183 
women Marines could be assigned immediately, 



releasing an equal number of men according to the 
following distribution: 27 

Hq, Department of Pacific and 

Depot of Supplies, San Francisco 172 

Marine Barracks and Marine Corps 

Supply Depot, Camp Pendleton 189 

Marine Barracks and Marine Corps 

Supply Depot, Camp Lejeune 190 

Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro 95 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island 133 

Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point 195 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego 68 

Marine Corps Schools, Quantico 141 

Total 1,183 

The WR platoons with 25 officers and 594 enlisted 
women were up to 88.6 percent of their authorized 
strength. 28 To make up the difference and to fill vacan- 
cies in critical specialties, an immediate call was made 
for veteran volunteers in the following occupational 
fields: 

01 Personnel Administration 
15 Printing and Reproduction 
22 Fire Control Instrument Repair 
25 Operational Communications 

30 Supply Administration, Accounting and Stock Control 

31 Supply Procurement, Warehousing, Shipping, and Receiving 



46 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



34 Disbursing 

35 Motor Transport 

40 Machine Accounting 

41 Post Exchange 

43 Public Information 

46 Photography 

49 Training and Training Aids 

52 Special Services 

67 Air Control 

70 Aviation Operations and Intelligence 29 

Volunteer Reservists Answer The Call 

An intensive short-term recruiting drive attracted 
former WRs like Corporal Anne Revak who volun- 
teered at the start of the war, but could not be recalled 
from her home in Fairbanks, Alaska. She drove to Seat- 
tle in order to report within the continental United 
States, was accepted, and sent to Camp Pendleton. 30 

Sergeant Ethyl Wilcox was recalled in August 1950 
and ordered to recruiting duty, a billet she filled all 
through World War II. She was on the job, in civilian 
clothes, for several months before she had time to go 
to Chicago for a physical examination and uniforms. 
On duty in Minnesota, she spent her time processing 
Reservists and later recruiting women. 31 

Sergeant Mary S. Mock completed officer candidate 
training in 1949, and returned home to finish college. 
Too young to be commissioned, she accepted a teach- 
ing position but on 12 September, two days before 
school was scheduled to begin, she received a collect 
telegram ordering her to report to Quantico on 14 Sep- 
tember. She attended Basic School, which was short- 
ened from eight to four weeks because of the 
emergency, as an officer candidate, the only enlisted 
WM on the base. As such, she could not eat in the 
officers' mess with her classmates, and the command- 
ing general thought it inappropriate for her to eat by 
herself in the general mess hall, so, in time, she was 
given an allowance to eat in civilian restaurants in the 
town of Quantico 32 

There were a number of women serving in district 
offices on continuous active duty contracts which 
stipulated that they could not be transferred against 
their wishes. One of these was First Lieutenant Mary 
E. Roddy, who had been the last WR to leave Cherry 
Point in 1946. When the transfer program was an- 
nounced in 1948, she found that she did not meet 
the age criteria for integration, but that she was eligi- 
ble for continuous active duty. She was selected and 
assigned to the 9th Reserve District Headquarters in 
the Federal Court Building on Lake Shore Drive in 
Chicago. She was the woman Marine liaison officer 
and handled all WM matters, Reserve and Regular. 



During this time, the Korean situation "was heating 
up" and the district director asked if she could find 
women Reservists to help with the administrative 
work. She successfully recruited some 15-20 former 
WRs for continuous active duty. At the time that they 
were recruited, Lieutenant Roddy explained that the 
contracts did not offer too much — a minimum of one 
year's duty and a clause that protected them from an 
involuntary transfer. But, she added that they had all 
left the Corps with good records, and if an emergen- 
cy arose, she expected that they would fulfill the spirit 
of their contract as a Marine. Not long after, a mobili- 
zation roster, not entirely unexpected, arrived and the 
lieutenant called a meeting in the only available pri- 
vate spot, the ladies room. The women knew what 
was coming and although not legally obligated, they 
accepted the fate of mobilization "with good grace" 
and all, including Lieutenant Roddy, were soon sent 
to Washington, D.C. 33 

At the time of mobilization, only 12 women were 
deferred or rejected which resulted in a mobilization 
of 98 percent of the women in the Organized 
Reserve. 34 Two hundred eighty-seven veterans were 
ordered to extended active duty and 298 nonveterans 
were ordered to Parris Island. All had been trained 
and assigned by January 1951. Together with the 
volunteer Reservists, a total of approximately 1,000 
women were assigned to extended active duty. They 
worked in clerical fields, recruiting, public informa- 
tion, communications, photography, cartographic 
drafting, disbursing, and motor transport. 35 

Women Marines Return to 
Posts and Stations 

In June 1950 the only woman Marine company was 
Company E at Headquarters Battalion, Henderson 
Hall. The battalion at Parris Island was strictly a recruit 
command and no regular WMs worked outside of it. 
Women Marines were assigned to the Department of 
the Pacific at San Francisco, but they had no govern- 
ment quarters. All other WMs were working with the 
Reserve districts, Reserve platoons, or as recruiters. 

The first priority then was to prepare billeting space 
at the posts and stations for the incoming women Ma- 
rines. Major Pauline B. Beckley, Commanding Officer, 
Company E, was transferred to Parris Island to assume 
command of the recruit training battalion, with a tem- 
porary assignment en route. She, Technical Sergeant 
Schirmer, and Corporal Leona M. Fox reported to 
Camp Lejeune on 24 July 1950 to open and ready a 
barracks for occupancy by the women Reservists be- 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



47 



ing ordered to active duty. The building had been va- 
cated by men and, of course, did not pass the women's 
inspection. Lieutenant Colonel Beckley, looking back, 
wrote in 1977, "Don't think any three WMs worked 
harder — manually — than we did." With the excep- 
tion of a battle with the G-4 for supplies, the women 
received fine cooperation from the Marines at Camp 
Lejeune, especially the commanding general, Major 
General Franklin A. Hart, and his staff. 36 Major Beck- 
ley was no stranger to Camp Lejeune, having served 
there as the postal officer of the schools and the ex- 
ecutive officer of the WR battalion during World War 
II. 

With Camp Lejeune prepared on the east coast, and 
San Francisco ready to process WMs on the west coast, 
it was at last possible to ship the Reserves. Many of 
the WR platoons left home on the same troop trains 
as the men. When the 5th Infantry Battalion of 



Washington, D.C. entrained for Camp Lejeune, on 
31 July 1950, the Marine Band gave them a sendoff 
befitting the country's first mobilized Marine Corps 
Reserve unit. Along with wives and children at 
Union Station to say goodbye were two husbands, W. 
G. Kegel and Edmund A. Gibson, there to bid fare- 
well to Corporal Virginia S. Kegel and Technical Ser- 
geant Josephine R. Gibson. 37 

The WR platoon in Boston was mobilized on 7 Au- 
gust, one week before actual departure, and the wom- 
en reported to the armory where they lived while 
performing the administrative tasks essential to the 
mobilization of an infantry battalion. When the day 
came to leave, 15 August 1950, marching to the mus- 
ic of the 2d Infantry Battalion band, 700 male Ma- 
rines and 32 women Marines boarded the train for 
North Carolina. Billeting was carefully arranged so that 
the men occupied the forward cars, followed by the 



In August 1950, Base Commander MajGen Oliver P. Smith greets (from left to right) 
TSgt Catherine G. Murray, Captjeanette I. Sustad, and Sgt Beatrice M. Kent, the first 
women Marines to be stationed at Camp Pendleton since the end of World War II. 




48 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



dining car, then the male officers' car, and finally the 
women's car, guarded by MPs. 38 

The first three Reserve platoons to arrive at Camp 
Lejeune were those from Washington, Philadelphia, 
and Boston. Three Regular staff NCOs, Staff Sergeants 
Esther Waclawski, Ruth Ryan, and Virginia L. Moore, 
students at Supply School, were already living in the 
barracks. In 1977, First Sergeant Waclawski could still 
hear the "click . . . click . . . click" of the high heels 
of the Reservists trooping off the buses and into the 
barracks. Customarily, women Marines wore oxfords 
for such formations and so the Regulars were undecid- 
ed as to whether they should laugh at the Reservists 
in their more attractive shoes or envy them. 39 

As soon as they arrived, and before they had time 
to settle, the women were processed and put to work 
to alleviate the personnel shortage caused by troop 
drafts for Korea. After the Camp Lejeune quota of 190 
women was reached, Reservists were sent for duty to 
other east coast duty stations — Cherry Point, Parris Is- 
land, and Quantico. To avoid the establishment of ad- 
ditional administrative units, the women were attached 
to existing male units, and unlike World War II, they 
ate in existing male mess halls. 40 

Those first few months were hectic. Many of the so- 
called "veterans" had never seen a Marine Corps base 
before. In addition to working long hours, an impro- 
vised boot camp was held evenings by the handful of 
experienced NCOs. Typically, a WM worked five days, 
had one-half day of military subjects training, and at- 
tended close order drill classes after evening chow, and 
according to Sergeant Major Judge, excuses from train- 
ing were unheard of. The barracks routine, which in- 
cluded outside morning muster and chow formations 
(to make the formation and march up to the mess hall 
was mandatory; to enter and to eat was optional) was 
a culture shock to many of the women. 41 

The WM Company, Marine Barracks, Camp Le- 
jeune, the first postwar women's company was formally 
activated on 13 October 1950, with Captain Mary J. 
Fisher commanding, and with Technical Sergeant 
Schirmer, first sergeant. 42 The women were housed in 
Barracks 60 and 63 with the main area service club 
between. At the height of the Korean War, the WM 
company numbered approximately 400 women: 270 
on duty with the base; 75 attached to the depot quar- 
termaster; and 155 attending supply school and dis- 
bursing school. 43 

At the same time that Camp Lejeune was being 
readied for the arrival of the WMs, women Reservists 



from cities west of the Mississippi were reporting to 
San Francisco for processing and classification. Cap- 
tain Sustad, Technical Sergeant Catherine G. Murray, 
and Sergeant Beatice M. Kent reported to Camp Pen- 
dleton on 8 August to "make advance preparations for 
the billeting of women Marines who would arrive as 
soon as the Department of the Pacific's and Depot of 
Supplies' quotas were filled. 

The Pendleton WMs were assigned the same bar- 
racks in the "24" area occupied by their predecessors 
during World War II. Just before the Reservists arriv- 
ed a fire destroyed all the mattresses, chests of draw- 
ers, and other supplies set aside to furnish their 
quarters. 44 A lesser crisis arose with the news that 
Headquarters required a guard from 1800 to 0600 
posted around the WM barracks. To save personnel, 
the Marines at Camp Pendleton fenced in the WM 
area, and the gate was locked each night when liberty 
expired. In First Sergeant Waclawski's view, it looked 
like a prisoner-of-war compound, and she was pleased 
to see the fence come down after a visit by Colonel 
Hamblet in the mid-Fifties 45 

In addition to her regularly assigned duty as the cus- 
todian of registered publications, Captain Sustad was 
the "Supervisor of Women Marines," all of whom were 
attached to Headquarters Company, Headquarters 
Battalion, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton. The 
WM company, under the command of Captain Sus- 
tad, was eventually activated as an element of Service 
Battalion on 1 June 1951. 

One month after the WMs landed at Camp Pen- 
dleton, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego 
saw its first postwar woman Marine, First Lieutenant 
Kathyrn E. Snyder, who had been on I&I duty in San 
Francisco until the WR platoon there was mobilized. 
In November, she was joined by Second Lieutenant 
Dorothy Dawson. Both women were assigned primary 
duties in the depot G-l office, and additional duties, 
respectively, as WM platoon commander and platoon 
officer. The enlisted women arrived in December 1950 
and were attached to Headquarters Company, Head- 
quarters and Service Battalion. Private First Class 
Dawn Zimmerman was first to report. By 8 Decem- 
ber she had been joined by 15 others: Master Sergeant 
Cecilia Nadeau, Staff Sergeant Annette Burkhead, 
Sergeant Dorothy Walker, Privates First Class Inga 
Boberg, Margaret Cooper, Patricia Pfeiffer, and Frances 
Quinlan, and Privates Norma Adams, Jo Carrera, Phyl- 
lis Curtiss, Nita L. Fagan, Joy Hardy, and Rebecca 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



49 



Rarrick. The balance of the WM platoons came directly 
from recruit training. 46 

Major Emma Hope Clowers (nee Hendrickson) 
reported to San Diego in December of 1951 and in 
1977 gave the following account of the activation of 
the WM company and of the problems encountered 
by the women officers assigned as supervisors rather 
than as commanding officers: 

When I reported to MCRD in Dec 1951, the women were 
housed in two two-story barracks near the main gate and 
were carried on the rolls of HqCo, H&S Bn. Both barracks 
had open squadbays, with double-deck bunks for most of 
the women. (I believe the NCOs and SNCOs had single deck 
bunks, but that there were no separate areas set aside for 
them.) As I recall, even SNCOs were scattered at random 
through both barracks, alongside PFCs, in some cases. There 
was only one woman officer and myself, and there were no 
quarters on the base for either of us. Therefore, supervision 
of the women Marines after working hours and during 
weekends and holidays was almost entirely in the hands of 
the NCOs, even though I was on call much of the time at 
the home I had in Ocean Beach. It seemed as though a night 
rarely passed when I wasn't called at least once by the Post 
Duty Officer or by our Barracks NCO and I made many a 
trip to the base during the night. My position was strictly 
that of a barracks officer (such as WAVE officers at that time 
frequently held as additional duty). I had no authority over 
the women in administrative or disciplinary matters, or in 
fact any area, and the women were aware of that fact. At 
one time the women's CO was the Post Communications 
Officer, who had command of the company as additional 
duty. It was an impossible situation as I soon found out when 
I reassigned the women within the two barracks to break 
up the little cliques that had developed and to have the Staff 
NCOs in a separate area. I recall that some of the women 
staged what was probably one of the first of the "sit-ins" 
when I rearranged the barracks and reassigned them. It is 
amusing now but wasn't then. My "C.P" was a tiny converted 
stock room in the barracks with scarcely enough room for 
a desk. I was receiving urgent calls from Colonel Towle at 
HQMC about the formation of a women's company, but 
could never clear the hurdle set up by the base — a magic 
number which we had to meet before they would give us 
a company. Each time our strength was about to reach that 
number, we would have an unexpected discharge or trans- 
fer. But eventually we were given company status, and by 
the time I was transferred back to HQMC in May 53 I felt 
we had accomplished much in organization of the compa- 
ny, improvements in the barracks, reduction in disciplinary 
problems, and improvement in morale of the women. 47 

The WM Company, Headquarters and Service Bat- 
talion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot was activated on 
1 July 1952, Captain Clowers, commanding; Second 
Lieutenant Joyce M. Hamman, executive officer; and 
Master Sergeant Vera E. Piippo, first sergeant. 

El Toro was originally programmed to receive 90 



WMs, but later the commanding general actually 
identified 235 positions which could be filled by wom- 
en. Plans were made at once to receive and quarter 
the women Marines — even before the usual advance 
group arrived. The large, eight-wing barracks behind 
the station administration building which had been 
occupied by the WRs during the war was vacated by 
the male Marines, then repainted and renovated. 

Captain Warner left St. Louis shortly after her pla- 
toon was mobilized and during the first week of Oc- 
tober became the first woman Marine to report to the 
Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro since 1946. Until 
the company was activated, she was assigned as the 
station assistant personnel officer and administrative 
assistant for WMs. 

Seven NCOs from Headquarters Marine Corps 
(Master Sergeant Bette A. Kohen; Staff Sergeants Mar- 
garet H. Crowell, Doris M. Plowman, and Martha J. 
Clark; Sergeants Chadeane A. Rhindress and Rita M. 
Walsh; and Corporal Maxine H. Carlson) who arrived 
in early November 1950 were the vanguard of the unit 
which would be known as the Woman Marine Detach- 
ment 1 (WMD 1). Waiting for more women to report 
in, the seven lived in the station hostess house. 

Public Works had scrubbed and polished the bar- 
racks, and the NCOs settled in and made up the bunks 
for the incoming women, newly graduated recruits 
from Parris Island. Just one week before the barracks 
was to be occupied, a Santa Ana windstorm blew in 
from the desert and dumped an inch of red sand 
thoughout all the squadbays in the women's build- 
ing. Lieutenant Colonel Warner remembers that it was 
"an awful mess." There was sand everywhere and in 
everything— sheets, blankets, pillow cases. She and the 
NCOs literally shoveled out the barracks, got two wings 
ready, and closed off the others. A squared away liv- 
ing area awaited each new group of privates. Settled 
in, they, in turn cleaned a wing for the next con- 
tingent. 

WMD 1 grew to a strength of approximately 250; 
almost all were recent graduates. The officers and the 
NCOs felt a great sense of responsibility and were like 
"mother hens" to the 18-year-old WMs — a new 
phenomenon in the Marine Corps. An NCO advisor 
was assigned to each squadbay and was always ready 
to listen and to help the young Marines make whatever 
adjustment was necessary. WMD 1 was a closely knit 
unit which Lieutenant Colonel Warner remembers as 
a "fine group of women." 48 



50 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




The first post-World War 11 women Marines arrived at Quantico, Virginia, in 1951 and 
were assigned to the Administrative Section of the Landing Force Development Center. 



Hard pressed for personnel, the Marines at El Toro 
made the women feel welcome and needed. The vari- 
ous squadron and station offices vied for WMs who 
were assigned to all except combat units. Interest ran 
so high that the Flight Jacket, the station newspaper, 
regularly published the number of women Marines ex- 
pected along with their occupational specialty. On 20 
October 1950 one article read; 

Out of El Toro's first draft will be 11 basic personnel and 
administration women, seven basic communication girls and 
four basic supply people. There will be two basic shipping 
and receiving WRs, five basic post exchange stewards, two 
basic air controlwomen, and one basic flight equipment 
woman. 49 

The return of the WMs made a similar impact on 
East Coast posts and stations, Matters of housing, 
uniforming, administration, and assignment had to 
be resolved quickly. At two of the bases, Quantico 
and Parris Island, training sites for WM officers and 
recruits, the adjustment was minimal. 

The 3d Recruit Training Battalion underwent a 
minor organizational change on 20 November 1950, 
and WMs not involved in training but rather assign- 
ed to the depot offices were made members of Post 



Troops Section under the section commander, Second 
Lieutenant Mary S. Mock, On 16 November 1951, the 
Post Personnel Company under the command of Cap- 
tain Emily Schultz was officially activated as an ele- 
ment of the 3d Recruit Training Battalion. 

The influx of women Marines to the Marine Corps 
Schools at Quantico was made less traumatic by vir- 
tue of the presence of a senior woman officer involv- 
ed in officer training, a barracks already occupied by 
WMs, and a male unit, Headquarters Battalion, ac- 
customed to having women on its rolls. Lieutenant 
Carville, having seen the Minneapolis WR platoon off 
to duty in San Francisco, was transferred to Quanti- 
co, where in addition to her assignment as adminis- 
trative officer for the Marine Corps Landing Force 
Tactics and Techniques Board, she became the bar- 
racks officer for the permanently assigned WMs, the 
first of whom included Technical Sergeant Mary C. 
Quinn; Staff Sergeants Dorothea E. Hard, Mary K. 
Arcure, and Martha E. Kirchman; Sergeant Muriel V. 
Artz; Corporals Alma Noffke, R. F. Black, and Jane 
L. Reynolds; and Private M. L. Williamson. 50 In spite 
of the nontraditional command and administrative 
relationship where the women Marines were attached 
to one unit, worked in another, and were under the 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



51 



supervision of a woman officer with no real authori- 
ty, the first arrived WMs at Quantico were a cohesive 
group, and evidently, a well disciplined one. For a 
period of a year, there was not a single case of nonju- 
dicial punishment involving a WM. Maintaining the 
record became a matter of great pride. But bad luck 
was their undoing when a private first class' auto broke 
down in the town of Triangle and after walking the 
three miles to the barracks in her high heels, she 
reported in from liberty 10 minutes late. On this and 
other occasions when a WM appeared before the bat- 
talion commander for office hours, it was Lieutenant 
Carville's habit to stand behind him and squeeze his 
shoulder when it appeared that he was weakening and 
unduly moved by a tearful story. 51 

For about 18 months, the WMs at Quantico were 
customarily attached to Headquarters or Service Bat- 
talion. A WM company was eventually formed under 



the command of Captain Bernice M. Pittman on 1 
May 1953 as an element of Service Battalion. 

Captain Helen A. Wilson, on 7 September 1950, 
was the first of the WMs to return to the Marine Corps 
Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. She easily 
moved into the Navy nurses quarters, but housing the 
newly arrived enlisted women was more of a problem. 
When Staff Sergeant Katherine Keefe, a Boston Reser- 
vist, was tranferred to Cherry Point after spending only 
a very short time at Camp Lejeune, she was temporar- 
ily quartered in the maternity ward of the naval hospi- 
tal. 52 The station WMs were attached to Headquarters 
Squadron until WMD 2 was officially activated on 1 
March 1951 with Captain Wilson commanding, Se- 
cond Lieutenant Natalie Noble, executive officer, and 
Master Sergeant Alice J. Connolly, sergeant major. In 
November 1951, ground was broken for the JW Han- 
gar, a new WM service club, and when it opened the 



The Commanding Officer of Woman Marine Detachment 2, Cherry Point, North Caro- 
lina, Maj Helen A. Wilson (center), pictured in 1953 with (from left to right) MSgt 
Elizabeth Tarte, SSgt Muriel Artz, MSgt Alice Connolly, and MSgt Jessie Van Dyke, 




52 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Capt Helen Wilson, the senior woman officer at Cher- 
ry Point, and Col Katherine A, Towle, Director of 
Women Marines, check clothing display in 1952, 

next spring, complete with juke box and patio, it was 
a popular spot for snacks, beer, soft drinks, and milk 
shakes. 53 * 

Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic 
(FMFLant), located at Norfolk, Virginia, asked for and 
received a total of 10 WMs; all were administrative 
clerks, and all were privates first class. It was Colonel 
Towle's policy to assign a woman officer to any base 
where enlisted women served and so Lieutenant Kle- 
berger was assigned to Norfolk as the assistant force 
adjutant and additionally as the "Supervisor of Wom- 
en Marines," 54 

The original 10, Privates First Class Henrietta L. 



*"Being the first Woman Marine on a major Marine Corps Air 
Station (MCAS - Cherry Point) in five years (1945 -1950) posed its 
problems. Upon my arrival, I was directed to report to the Com- 
manding General. During this meeting, he pointed out that the 
five-year interim that had elapsed since women (other than Navy 
nurses) had been aboard made it evident that male Marines were 
unaccustomed to having female Marines as an integral part of their 
daily lives. Therefore, I was stunned when he said he'd hold me 
personally responsible if 'anything happened' to any of the wom- 
en! He further suggested that no women should leave the base ex- 
cept in pairs (like Nuns, as I later expressed it), I wanted to 
remonstrate, but all I could say was 'Aye, Aye, Sir!'— knowing full 
well that I couldn't go on liberty with the women. They arrived 
shortly after my meeting with the General, in increments of 100 
to 200. Nothing untoward happened. The men seemed happy to 
have them aboard, and I think they really were!" Col Helen A. Wil- 
son comments on draft manuscript, dtd ljan80. 



Belcher, Dorothy P. Eastman, Naomi M. Hallaway, 
Beatrice I. Harper, Theresa S. Kovar, Martha M. Lud- 
wig, Margaret M, Martin, Mary A, Seman, Earlene Sla- 
ton, and Mary H. Clements were attached to 
Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, FMFLant and quartered with the WAVES 
at the Norfolk Naval Base, Eventually on 1 April 1952, 
a WM Company was activated with Second Lieutenant 
Mary E, Sullivan commanding. 

During the Korean War years, women Marines 
returned to Hawaii, in 1951 to FMFPac at Pearl Har- 
bor and in 1953 to the Marine Corps Air Station at 
Kaneohe Bay, On 31 July 1951 Lieutenant Colonel 
Hamblet became the first WM to be assigned to Head- 
quarters, FMFPac. It was three months before Second 
Lieutenant Essie M. Lucas, graduate of the first WR 
recruit class in 1943 and the first officer candidate class 
in 1949, left San Francisco with 17 enlisted WMs on 
5 October 1951. On board the military transport were 
Technical Sergeant Mary E. Roche; Sergeant Julia M. 
Pierce; Corporals Doris Allgood, Shirley Anderson, 
Lillian Brown, Olive G, Chapman, Anita F, Dale, 
Joyce R, Dupuy, Evangeline I, Lyon, Audrey E. Kle- 
berger, Mary E. Scudder, Naomi J. Sexton, Ruth V, 
Tate, and Joan V, Walsh; and Privates First Class Nita 
M. Oliver, Vivia Smith, and Adoree R, Troche, 55 

Upon arrival, the women were attached to Head- 
quarters Company, Headquarters and Service Bat- 
talion, FMFPac, and were assigned a small, but very 
attractive two-storied wooden barracks overlooking the 
parade deck. Mrs, Victory, wife of Brigadier General 
Randall M, Victory, had supervised the decoration and 
when dignitaries visited the command, receptions 
were often held in the WM lounge, 56 Within six 
months the WMs had their own command, Compa- 
ny A, Headquarters and Service Battalion, FMFPac, 
under Second Lieutenant Margaret M, Schaffer. Un- 
like the male companies in the same battalion, the 
commanding officer of the woman Marine company 
was not empowered to sign record books or to issue 
company regulations. Only through the intervention 
of Colonel Towle several years later did the company 
commander gain the control usually associated with 
that position. 57 Early members of the command in- 
cluded: Master Sergeant Mary E, Roche, Technical Ser- 
geants Mary E. Grande and Ann M, Kopp, Staff 
Sergeant Margaret E. Boerner, and Sergeants Barbara 
Jean Dulinsky (who later was to be the first WM to 
serve in Vietnam) and Emma G, Ramsey (who retired 
as a captain in May 1971). 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



53 



In January 1956, Headquarters, FMFPac, moved 
from the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor to the old naval 
hospital at Aiea, which was designated Camp H. M. 
Smith. The women's company, commanded by Cap- 
tain Kleberger, moved into former Navy nurses' quart- 
ers. The newly renovated barracks afforded suites for 
the senior SNCOs, private rooms for some, and rooms 
of two-to-four persons for sergeants and below. 'The 
building abounded in lounges, exercise rooms, study 
rooms, and other fantastic facilities," recalled Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Kleberger. 58 

WMD 3, a group of 56 WMs led by First Lieute- 
nant Phyllis J. Young, stationed at Kaneohe Bay, on 
the opposite side of the island from Pearl Harbor, was 
the last woman Marine command to be activated in 
the 1950s. In an interview published in the San Die- 
go Chevron, First Sergeant Doris P. Milholen re- 
counted her trip to the island: 

There were four of us from the detachment that were to 
leave by seaplane [the MARs] to arrive in Kaneohe ahead 
of the rest of the women Marines. But for about four days 
before takeoff the plane had engine trouble and the flight 
was delayed. The main detachment almost made it to the 
islands by ship before we finally got off the ground. 59 

The women were quartered in one of the Marine 
Corps' newest and most modern barracks, sometimes 
referred to as "The Waldorf." The living areas were 
painted in pastel colors, and the amenities included 
a complete kitchen and adjoining dining room. The 
staff noncommissioned officers, living in single rooms, 
had private showers and their own lounge. 60 

WMD 3 was a short-lived unit. It closed on 1 Sep- 
tember 1956 due to personnel replacement problems, 
but was reactivated during the Vietnam War. 

Korean War Brings Changes 
To Recruit Training 

The year 1950 marked significant changes to the 
woman Marine program and consequently to the 3d 
Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island. Until May 
1950, classes with a quota of 50 recruits each were con- 
vened consecutively. Beginning with the class of 18 
September each class was composed of three platoons 
with a total strength of 150 women, and for the first 
time since World War II classes overlapped each other. 

The Division of Plans and Policies indicated a need 
for 2,257 women Marines at posts and stations dur- 
ing fiscal year 1950 in addition to the 492 regular en- 
listed women on active duty. Based upon an estimate 
of 1,000 Reservists — organized and volunteer — on ex- 



tended active duty, 1,257 women had to be provided 
for regular recruits. Added to this figure were the 300 
nonveterans of the WR platoons who required basic 
training. The plans necessitated an increase in the ta- 
ble of organization of the recruit battalion and the 
assignment of another barracks, Building 901. 61 

Most of the staff members returned from Quantico 
where they had been assigned to WOTC and were sup- 
plemented by the I&Is of mobilized platoons. Cap- 
tain Hale, away only six months, returned to Parris 
Island on 29 August as the interim commanding 
officer with First Lieutenant Dorothy A. Holm berg, 
the executive officer. Major Beckley, her work at Camp 
Lejeune completed, assumed command of the 3d 
Recruit Training Battalion on 18 September 1950 and 
Captain Hale became the executive officer. 

With the increased need for Marines, the recruit- 
ing requirements were eased, allowing for the first time 
the enlistment of 18 year olds and also women who 
were not high school graduates but who could pass 
a high school equivalency examination. Colonel Towle 
was much opposed to the lowered educational stan- 
dards, but was pressured by the other services and the 
Department of Defense. During this period the Vete- 
rans Administration, working on behalf of veterans 
desiring a college education, asked the colleges and 
universities to accept the equivalent examinations as 
evidence of successful completion of high school. The 
academic community was quick to point out the 
anomaly of asking an educational institution to recog- 
nize the examination when the military services did 
not. 62 

It was a different woman recruit who reported to 
Parris Island in September 1950: many were younger 
and less skilled; others, with a smattering of Reserve 
experience, arrived wearing PFC stripes. In the class 
that convened on 18 September, 33 of the 144 were 
nonveterans from WR platoons. 63 Reluctantly, they 
moved the stripes from their uniforms. First Sergeant 
Schultz spoke of her duty as platoon sergeant and of 
her last recruit platoon — an honor platoon— which 
consisted mainly of Seattle Reservists. She said, "They 
must have had very good training. They were an out- 
standing platoon and my job was really alleviated as 
far as basic training was concerned." 64 

A Few Changes at 
Officer Candidate School 

The changes at the Woman Officer Candidates 
Course marked a significant shift in policy regarding 



54 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




In the summer of 1951, Officer-in- Charge IstLt Doris V. Kleberger (seated at far right) 
meets in barracks lounge with the first women Marines assigned to FMFLant, Norfolk. 



the entire woman Marine program. Until the Korean 
situation arose, only a few women were offered com- 
missions in the Regular service and allowed to remain 
on active duty. In contrast, the entire graduating class 
of 1951 was ordered to duty for 24 months. 65 Although 
this was intended as a temporary, emergency meas- 
ure, it continued thereafter, changing only to length- 
en the required service. The emphasis had changed 
from a strictly Reserve force on inactive duty to a 
nucleus of trained women Marines with at least a mini- 
mum of active duty experience. 

The candidates who arrived in the summer of 1951 
were uncertain of their status through much of the 
training, and those who were not college graduates 
feared that the Marine Corps would retain them on 
active duty as enlisted personnel rather than releas- 
ing them to finish their college education. Candidate 
Margaret A. Brewer, the last Director of Women Ma- 
rines, and destined to be appointed the first woman 
general in 1978 was in this category, and she remem- 
bers the daily, changing rumors. The final result was 
that the women who accepted commissions were re- 
tained, those who refused commissions were dis- 



charged, and undergraduates returned home in a 
Reserve status. Colonel Brewer recalled that with one 
semester remaining she returned to school, finished 
in January, and expected to attend the officer's basic 
class convening in the fall. Instead, she was ordered 
to active duty in May and assigned to El Toro as a com- 
munications watch officer, one of only a few woman 
Marine officers never to have attended the Basic 
School. 66 

During the same period the Woman Officer In- 
doctrination Course underwent only a modest revi- 
sion—shortening its training for the new lieutenants 
from eight to four weeks. For the graduates of the 
Woman Officer Candidate Course of 1952, however, 
the basic indoctrination class was lengthened to six 
weeks. 

The Korean Years— Reprise 

During the Korean years, the relatively few ex- 
perienced women Marines were spread thinly and 
transferred often — Lieutenant Kleberger, for example, 
had four assignments, Quantico, Detroit, Norfolk, and 
Washington, D.C. in just two years. The officers and 



THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 



55 



NCOs worked together scrubbing and polishing bar- 
racks, setting up the new companies, training Reser- 
vists and Regulars, guiding young lieutenants and 
privates, and holding together a group consisting of 
a disproportionate number of inexperienced Marines. 
In March 1950, at the beginning of the Korean war, 
there were only 28 Regular officers and 496 Regular 
enlisted WMs and 18 Reserve officers and 41 Reserve 



enlisted women on continuous active duty. Their com- 
mon purpose and special pride in being a woman Ma- 
rine served to override any personal differences which, 
if aired, would have undermined the group. They 
worked as one to bring the WMs back into the main- 
stream of the Marine Corps. Until one by one, the 
members of this pioneer group began to retire in 1963, 
they served as role models for the WMs who followed. 



56 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



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Congratulations are extended to 2dLt Nancy Flint (right) by Col Katherine A. Towle, 
Director of Women Marines (left), and Lt Col Julia E. Hamblet, Commanding Officer, 
Women Officer Training Detachment, upon Lt Flint's graduation from the 4th Woman 
Officer Indoctrination Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, on 1 November 1932. 



CHAPTER 5 

Utilization and Numbers, 1951-1963 

Utilization of Women Marines, Evolution of a Policy— Report of Procedures Analysis Office, 1951 

Women Officers' MOSs, 1948-1953-1930-1953 Summary -1954-1964 

Numbers —Utilization, 1954-1964— Rank Does Not Have Its Privileges, Officers 

Rank Does Not Have Its Privileges, Staff Noncommissioned Officers 

Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School— A Woman in the Fleet Marine Force 

1954-1964 Summary 



Utilization of Women Marines —Evolution of a Policy 

The war in Korea marked the first of three turning 
points, each one opening new career fields to women 
Marines. The second turning point was the Woman 
Marine Program Study Group (Pepper Board) meet- 
ing in 1964. The third was the Ad-Hoc Committee 
on Increased Effectiveness in the Utilization of Wom- 
en in the Marine Corps (Snell Committee) of 1973. 

After World War II nearly all women Marines 
worked in the areas of administration and supply. WR 
veterans who had served in technical fields in World 
War II, especially in aviation specialties, were disap- 
pointed when they found themselves reclassified as 
typists and stenographers upon integration in 1948 
and 1949. It is probable that many skilled WRs, 
trained during the war, when faced with the prospect 
of a change in occupational field, did not apply for 
Regular status. 

Pre-Korea recruits, in spite of the detailed classifi- 
cation procedures followed at Parris Island, were in- 
variably earmarked for administrative work. Ninety-five 
percent of them were assigned directly to a job; the 
remainder, however, were given formal training at the 
Personnel Administration School at Parris Island or the 
Yeoman Course at San Diego. 1 In the spring of 1950, 
just before the war, two recruits, Privates Nancy L. Ben- 
nett and Cynthia L. Thies, slated to be photographers, 
became the first WMs to complete boot camp and to 
be assigned to an occupational field other than ad- 
ministration. Both Marines had had experience in pho- 
tography. 2 

The shortsightedness of these restrictive measures 
limiting the occupational opportunities and training 
of women to clerical duties was evident as soon as the 
North Koreans invaded South Korea in June 1950. 
Then, expediency dictated a more diverse classifica- 
tion of women. Manpower was in critically short sup- 
ply. Each Marine Corps base was polled on the number 
of billets that could be filled by women, and on the 
billeting space available for distaff Marines. Unfor- 
tunately, the available women Marines had not been 
trained to fill many of the needs identified by this 
survey. 



Report of Procedures Analysis Office, 1951 

On 12 December 1950, four months after the 
mobilization, an internal memorandum in the Divi- 
sion of Plans and Policies on the subject of re- 
quirements for women Marines revealed that there 
were 76 military billets at Headquarters Marine Corps 
which by their nature could be filled by WMs but to 
which women were not assigned. Lack of training was 
cited as the cause. Furthermore, women were assigned 
to billets in accordance with ability, regardless of rank 
deficiency. At the time of the memorandum, 70 wom- 
en privates first class were assigned to billets designated 
for higher ranks: 27 filling corporals billets; 32 filling 
sergeants billets; 9 in staff sergeant billets; 1 in a tech- 
nical sergeant slot; and 1 in a master sergeant billet. 
It was noted, as well, that of a total of 438 military 
jobs at Headquarters, 230 were coded as requiring 
male Marines and of these "must be male" billets, 12 
were filled by WMs. The recommendations made in 
view of the situation was that the table of organiza- 
tion be reviewed with an eye towards decreasing 're- 
quirements for male Marines and that WMs, Regular 
and Reserve, with adequate work qualifications and 
rank be ordered to Headquarters. A like number of 
WMs from Headquarters, the least qualified clerical- 
ly, would be transferred to posts and stations. 3 

Colonel Towle found the memorandum useful in 
pointing out what she saw as, "The difficulty of at- 
tempting to utilize untrained personnel in skilled mili- 
tary billets" and "the need of remedial measures." 4 She 
reiterated her position that specialist training beyond 
recruit indoctrination was essential to meet the needs 
of both the Marine Corps and the individual Marine. 
Her conclusion was: 

A policy which relies upon an ever-diminishing supply 
of World War II women reservists to continue to provide the 
skills presently needed by the Marine Corps as well as those 
which would be required in all-out mobilization, rather than 
establish systematic long range training beyond recruit in- 
doctrination for younger women enlistees of the regular Ma- 
rine Corps is considered unrealistic and shortsighted, as well 
as uneconomical. 5 

Subsequently, in May 1951, Plans and Policies Di- 
vision asked that a study be made to determine the 



57 



58 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Attending the Conference of Women Marine Commanding Officers and Women 
Representatives of Marine Corps Reserve and Recruitment Districts in June 1933, were 
(from left, seated): Maj 'Dorothy M. Knox; LtCol Pauline B. Beckley; Col Julia E. Ham- 
blet; LtCol Elsie E. Hill; LtCol Barbara J. Bishop; and Maj Helen M. Tatum. Also (from 
left, standing): IstLtRitaA. Ciotti; Capt Mary S. Mock; IstLtRuthJ. OHolleran; Capt 
Dolores A. Thorning; Maj Emily Horner; IstLt Anne S. Ritter; Capt Valeria F. Hilgart; 
Capt Jeanne Fleming; Maj Nita B. Warner; Maj Shirley J. Fuetsch; IstLt Nancy L. Doser; 
Capt Margaret E. Dougherty; Capt Elena D. Brigotti; and Capt Rosalie Crites. 



military occupational specialties (MOS) in which wom- 
en could be utilized and the proportion of the total 
number which could be profitably employed. The en- 
suing study conducted by the Procedures Analysis 
Office, evaluated MOSs on the basis of utilization of 
women in the past, legal restrictions, physical require- 
ments, job environment, availability of training facil- 
ities, and the existence of promotional outlets. They 
noted that while women Marines were assigned MOSs 
in 25 different occupational fields, actually about 95 
percent of the WMs were concentrated in only six 
fields. The lessons learned in the emergency brought 
on by the war in Korea were apparent in the conclu- 
sions drawn by the committee that: 

a. Women can be used in 27 of the 43 occupational fields. 

b. For maximum effectiveness, women should be employed 
(as a general rule) in a limited number of major activities. 

c. Under the present tables of organization, a maximum of 



approximately 6,500 women can be employed. 

d. Full utilization of women Marines requires an evaluation 
of the combined influence of all "restricted assignment" 
groups upon rotation policies. 

e. Immediate steps should be taken to utilize women in all 
appropriate MOSs so that under full mobilization, expan- 
sion can be readily accomplished. 

f. Service schools must be opened to women to train them 
for the appropriate MOS. 

g. Billets that can be filled by women must be identified 
on tables of organization. 

The 27 occupational fields considered appropriate 
were: 

01 Personnel and Administration 

02 Intelligence 
04 Logistics 

14 Mapping and Surveying 

15 Printing 

22 Fire Control Instrument Repair 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 



59 



25 Operational Communications 

26 Communication Material 

27 Electronics 

30 Supply 

31 Warehousing, Shipping, and Receiving 

33 Food 

34 Disbursing 

35 Motor Transport 

40 Machine Accounting 

41 Post Exchange 

43 Public Information 

46 Photography 

49 Training and Training Aids 

52 Special Services 

55 Band 

66 Aviation Electronics 

67 Air Control 

68 Aerology 

69 Aviation Synthetic Training Devices 

70 Aviation Operations and Intelligence 

71 Flight Equipment 6 

Colonel Towle endorsed the study calling it, 
"thorough, thoughtful, and essentially a realistic 
presentation of facts pertinent to the utilization of 
women within the Marine Corps " She did, however, 
take exception to the stated position that while wom- 
en could perform the duties of the 27 recommended 
occupational fields, they could not be placed in all 
of the billets falling under each major heading since 
the "most effective utilization occurs when women su- 
pervise only women and when situations in which 
women supervise men or mixed groups are 
minimized," 7 She submitted that: 

. . . the most effective utilization of women does not neces- 
sarily depend upon women supervising women, unless cre- 
dence is also given to the corollary of this statement that 
men should supervise only men. The situation at Headquart- 
ers Marine Corps is an excellent example of the invalidity 
of this contention. During World War II there were many 
instances at many posts and stations where women super- 
vised both men and women with notable success. In this 
connection, it should be remembered that women officers' 
commissions are identical in wording to those of their male 
counterparts charging them not only with the duties and 
responsibilities of their grade and positions, but also assur- 
ing them of comparable military authority. 8 * 



*In fact, during the Korean War, women Marines made a few 
tentative steps toward taking over supervision of several all male 
groups. In 1952, Staff Sergeant Hazel A. Lindahl, a Reservist from 
Boston, held the top enlisted post at Camp Lejeune as Camp Ser- 
geant Major of more than 40,000 Marines. During the same peri- 
od, Master Sergeant Margaret A. Goings was the First Sergeant, 
Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp 
Lejeune. (DivWMs Scrapbook, box 4, WMs HQMC Records) 



The final report of the Procedures Analysis Office 
was submitted in November 1951 and generated a let- 
ter the following January to all interested divisions and 
sections for comment. For the most part there was 
general agreement with the theory that wider utiliza- 
tion of women Marines would increase their poten- 
tial effectiveness upon all-out mobilization. The 
Division of Aviation suggested a greater percentage 
of WMs could be properly assigned aviation special- 
ties and recommended the addition of Occupational 
Field 64, Aircraft Maintenance and Repair, to the list 
of appropriate MOSs, but was overruled. The agency 
managing the 35 field, motor transport, commented 
that women were qualified to drive the cars, trucks, 
and jeeps, but the requirement that the driver load 
and unload the vehicle restricted their use. In the area 
of communications, it was recommended that a new 
field, administrative communications, be created and 
that women be used as switchboard operators. Wom- 
en as instructors at the Communications-Electronic 
School was specifically ruled out due to their lack of 
combat experience and because they would have to 
supervise men. 9 * 

All comments and recommendations were incor- 
porated and the list of appropriate MOSs for enlisted 
women Marines was promulgated in April 1952, about 
a year before the end of the Korean conflict. 10 

The same memorandum identified the following 
16 occupational fields as unsuitable for women 
Marines. 

03 Infantry 

01 Antiaircraft ArtiJlery 

08 Field Artillery 

11 Utilities 

13 Construction and Equipment 

18 Tank and Amphibian Tractor 

21 Weapons Repair 

23 Ammunition and Explosive Ordnance Disposal 

32 Supply Services 

36 Steward 

56 Guided Missile 

57 Chemical Warfare and Radiological Defense 

58 Security and Guard 

64 Aircraft Maintenance and Repair 

65 Aviation Ordnance 
73 Pilot 



*In 1961, 10 years later, Lance Corporal Priscilla Carlson became 
the first woman Marine to instruct at Communications-Electronic 
School at San Diego. She was a graduate of 36 weeks training at 
the Basic Electronic Course, Radar Fundamentals Course, and Avi- 
ation Radar Repair Course, and she instructed the Radar Fundamen- 
tals Course. (San Diego Chevron, 28jul6l). 



60 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



In spite of the above exclusions, during the Korean 
War at least a few women served in the utilities, 
weapons repair, supply services, and security guard 
field. 1 1 It is probable that they were Reservists already 
knowledgeable in these occupations. 

At the time of the study, only six WMs were in the 
motor transport field. One of these, Sergeant There- 
sa "Sue" Sousa, mobilized with the Washington, D.C. 
Reserve platoon and on duty at Camp Pendleton, be- 
came a driver through determination, persistence, and 
because she proved she could handle a truck and 
jeep. 12 Then, in the fall of 1952, women were assigned 
to motor transport school for the intensive five -week 
course. The first WMs to receive such training since 
1945 were Privates First Class Hazel E. Robbins, 
Christin Villanueva, Jessie Chance, Elizabeth Drew, 
and Ann Oberfell. By 1954, the number of women 
in motor transport jumped to 111. 13 Colonel Valeria 
F. Hilgart, who was Commanding Officer, Company 
A, Pearl Harbor that year, remembered that she had 
22 women Marine drivers and a woman Marine dis- 
patcher, Sergeant Barbara Jean Dulinsky. 14 This career 
field has been volatile for WMs as the number dwin- 
dled to seven in 1964 and rose to 186 in 1977. 15 

Now retired Gunnery Sergeant Helen A. Brusack 
and one other former WM worked in radio repairman 
assignments in 1950 but formal training in this field 
was not reopened to women until March 1953 when 
four WMs (Technical Sergeants Rosita A. Martinez and 
Katherine F. Tanalski and Sergeants Norine Anderson 
and Mary Williams) received orders to the 16-week 
course at the crystal grinding shop at the Baltimore 
Signal Depot in Fort Holabird, Baltimore. The high- 
ly technical course covered the manufacture of pre- 
cisely cut crystals which controlled the frequency in 
radios. 16 Like the motor transport field, this also proved 
to be a volatile field as the number of WMs assigned 
to it dropped to two in 1961 and then grew to 166 
in 1977. 17 

Women Officers' MOSs, 1948-1953 

After World War II, all officer MOSs were grouped 
into categories. 18 For example, Category I included 
MOSs suitable for Regular unrestricted officers; 
Category II MOSs were suitable for Regular limited 
duty officers of company grade; and with the passage 
of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 
1948, Category V MOSs were deemed suitable for 
Regular women officers. Only the following nine MOSs 
in four occupational fields, plus the designation for 
basic officers (unassigned second lieutenants) and one 



ground colonel were considered to be appropriate for 
women: 

0101 Basic Personnel and Administration Officer 

0105 Administrative Officer 

0110 Personnel Classification and Assignment Officer 

0130 Adjutant 

0190 Personnel Research Officer 

3001 Basic Supply Administrative Officer 

4001 Basic Machine Accounting Officer 

4010 Machine Accounting Officer 

4301 Basic Public Information Officer 

9901 Basic Officer 

9906 Colonel, Ground 

For most of the fields, women officers were limited 
to the basic position and therefore not allowed to move 
up the ladder in that specialty as they were promot- 
ed. The war in Korea caused some of the restrictions 
to be lifted in 1950, but women officers continued 
to serve in a relatively minute number of fields. 

This untenable situation was noted by the Classifi- 
cations Section on 1 November 1952 when it was found 
that the large majority of the older, more experienced 
women officers were assigned MOS 0105 (Adminis- 
trative Officer); few women held an additional MOS; 
and no woman at the time had two additional MOSs. 
In all, over 60 percent of all women officers in the Ma- 
rine Corps were assigned a basic MOS or MOS 0105. 
The discovery led to a study involving a review of the 
cases of all women officers on active duty and letters 
to all sections interested in MOS assignments. In view 
of the antipathy displayed in 1947 and 1948 toward 
the use of women in the Marine Corps, the comments 
emanating from this study were gratifying to the wom- 
en officers. The Assistant Chief of Staff G-l wrote: 

During the congressional discussion prior to the passage 
of the "Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948" 
it was emphasized that the primary reason for establishing 
women in Regular services was to provide a nucleus of train- 
ed women for rapid expansion in event of an emergency. 
If the Marine Corps assigns women officers only to the MOSs 
listed . . . there will not be a group of well trained, ex- 
perienced women officers who couid provide the necessary 
leadership in the many fields where large numbers of wom- 
en will be utilized in the event of a national emergency. 19 

From the Classification Branch came the comment, 
"In fact in the final analysis it became apparent that 
a woman officer should be assigned any MOS for which 
she had become qualified by actual performance of 
duty in a satisfactory manner." 20 And following the 
list of recommended MOSs submitted by the Person- 
nel Control Branch was the statement, "It is further 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 



61 



suggested that women officers not be precluded from 
assignment of other MOSs for which an individual may 
be qualified." 21 

In the second phase of the study each woman of- 
ficer's qualifications were considered as well as the 
description of each MOS. Decisions were based on le- 
gal restrictions, physical restrictions, rotation con- 
straints, technical schools open to women, billets held 
by WRs in World War II, and "American mores." As 
a result, the variety of MOSs assigned to women 
officers increased somewhat, mainly in the area of ad- 
ditional MOSs, that is, in secondary jobs for which they 
were considered qualified. On 1 March 1953, the al- 
location of primary MOSs to women officers was as 
follows: 

01 Administration 87 

02 Intelligence 1 

25 Communications 7 

30 Supply 25 

31 Transportation 1 

34 Disbursing 10 



41 Post Exchange 4 

43 Public Information 7 

49 Training 2 

52 Special Services 7 

9906 Ground Colonel 1 

Women Marine Officers on active duty 22 152 

The Division of Aviation had identified the seven 
fields of aircraft maintenance, aviation electronics, air 
control, aerology, aviation synthetic training devices, 
aviation operations and intelligence, and flight equip- 
ment as suitable for assignment to women Marine 
officers, but only three, aerology, training devices, and 
flight equipment appeared on the final approved list. 
As it turned out, women officers were not assigned 
to aviation specialities of any nature until about I960. 

Subsequent to the study, in March 1953, the Direc- 
tor, Division of Personnel, Brigadier General Reginald 
H. Ridgely, Jr., recommended that category restrictions 
on the assignment of MOSs to women officers be per- 
manently removed and that a policy be established 



Col Julia E. Ham b let (left), Director of Women Marines, and her assistant, IstLt Doris 
V. Kleberger, confer with Maj Wesley C. Noren, monitor of woman officer assignments. 




62 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



which would be consistent with the intent of the 
Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. 23 

1930-1933 Summary 
The Korean War brought permanent changes to the 
women Marine program, the most obvious being the 
return of WMs to major posts and stations. When the 
armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, women were 
serving at Headquarters Marine Corps; at the Marine 
Corps Air Stations at Cherry Point, El Toro, and 
Kaneohe; at the Recruit Depots at San Diego and Par- 
ris Island; at Marine Corps Bases at Camp Lejeune and 
Camp Pendleton, Quantico, Norfolk, and Pearl Har- 
bor; at both the Depot of Supplies and the Depart- 
ment of the Pacific in San Francisco; at the various 
Reserve districts; and in Stuttgart, Germany.* 

1934-1964 

As the pressures of war subsided, so did the urgen- 
cy to revitalize the women Marine program. The Per- 
sonnel Department stated that "The Marine Corps' 
long range plan for the utilization of women Marines 
is to utilize them in sufficient numbers and ap- 
propriate military occupational specialties to provide 
a nucleus of trained women for rapid expansion in the 
event of full mobilization." 24 The wording was suffi- 
ciently vague to allow commanders to vacillate, to balk 
at the idea of women placed in key positions, and to 
deny formal schools to WMs. 

Numbers 

Numerically, women were limited by law to a ceil- 
ing of two percent of the authorized strength of the 
Corps, and the women officers were limited to 10 per- 
cent of the number of enlisted women. The Marine 
Corps set a goal of one percent rather than the allow- 
able two, but never reached even that figure during 
the period 1954-1964. The one percent was not just 
an arbitrary, antiwoman measure but was arrived at 
in recognition of the Corps' mission and organization. 
Traditionally, the Marine Corps is a compact fighting 



*In September 1952, for the first time, women Marines were as- 
signed to duty in Europe. Arriving to serve on the staff of the Com- 
mander in Chief of U. S. Forces in Europe was Second Lieutenant 
Sara Frances McLamore, followed a week later by Captain Jeanette 
I. Sustad. Captain Sustad was assigned to message control and Se- 
cond Lieutenant McLamore became the commanding officer of the 
joint detachment of enlisted women. They were soon joined by 11 
enlisted women Marines. (Colonel Jeanette I. Sustad interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 20jun77 [Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC]). 



unit with much of its logistics and some of its sup- 
porting personnel furnished by the Navy. Women Ma- 
rines were prohibited, by law, from ". . . duty in aircraft 
while such aircraft are engaged in combat missions and 
duty on vessels of the Navy except hospital ships and 
naval transports." 25 They were prohibited, by tradition, 
from Fleet Marine Force units, security forces at shore 
activities, and any unit whose mission it was to de- 
velop tactics or combat equipment. 

To accomplish its mission, the Marine Corps is 
divided generally into 60 percent operating forces and 
40 percent supporting units. Of the latter, during war- 
time and based on Korean War figures, eight percent 
could be patients, prisoners, and transients, leaving 
only 32 percent of the billets available to women. Even 
within the supporting establishment, certain factors 
restricted the utilization of women: legal prohibitions, 
Marine Corps rotation policy, and the necessity for in- 
service training for men in preparation for assignment 
to combat jobs or to the fleet. To further complicate 
the matter, women are only one in a list of restricted 
assignment groups which include sole -surviving sons, 
and twice- wounded Marines. 26 Added to the above 
constraints was the fact that all services planned a cut 
in women's strength in 1954. During the years be- 
tween Korea and Vietnam the strength of the wom- 
en Marines went from a peak of 2,787 in September 
1953 to a low of 1,448 on 30 June 1964. 

Utilization, 1934-1964 

While women were assigned at various times to as 
many as 27 occupational fields, for the most part they 
remained concentrated in the same six or seven special- 
ities, with 45-55 percent in personnel administration, 
followed by supply, communications (telephone oper- 
ators), disbursing, data processing, post exchange, and 
public information. It took nearly 100 women officers 
to fill the strictly women's billets (WM companies, 
WM recruit and officer training, recruiting, officer 
selection duty, I&Is of WR platoons). Since the wom- 
en officer strength averaged 125 for the years 
1954-1964, the incidence of their assignment outside 
the woman Marine program was minimal. 

Colonel Hamblet, Director of Women Marines 
1953-1959, devoted much time on her annual in- 
spection trips trying to convince the personnel peo- 
ple to assign senior women Marines to jobs other than 
those within the women's program. She found a reluc- 
tance to place women in positions where they had not 
served before, at least in the memory of the current 
base population. Most activities, on the other hand, 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 



63 



welcomed the presence of young, attractive women 
Marines in window dressing type jobs, as receptionists, 
for example, as long as they did not count against their 
allotted strength. Having succeeded in placing WMs 
in suitable billets, the director then met just as strong 
resistance in getting them released for a tour as a 
recruiter, drill instructor, or company commander. 27 

A number of factors combined to bring on this am- 
bivalence in the utilization of women Marines, only 
a portion of which could be attributed to sex discrimi- 
nation. The average woman Marine was in the marri- 
ageable and child bearing age group and the forced 
separation brought on by prevailing regulations in this 
regard caused a proportionately high attrition rate for 
WMs compared to male Marines. A married woman 
could ask to be discharged after serving only one year 
of her enlistment* There was, therefore, some insta- 
bility and an unsatisfactory rate of personnel turnover 
that could not be stemmed without a drastic change 
in policy. 

A second factor working to the detriment of the 
women was the insufficiency of their training coupl- 
ed with the male Marines' expectation that women are 
naturally good typists, stenographers, and clerks. As 
late as 1955, only five percent of the WMs received 
formal training of any kind. 28 The majority of the en- 
listed women reported to their first duty assignment 
after a mere eight weeks of recruit training whereas 
the male private spent 12 weeks in boot camp followed 
by advanced training, and usually a rour in the Fleet 
Marine Force, thereby arriving at a post with some serv- 
ice behind him. The woman private suffered in com- 
parison from both a military and a professional point 
of view, unless her supervisor understood the situa- 
tion and took extra time not only to correct her work 
but to help her with the basics of military life like uni- 
form regulations and saluting. Lieutenant Colonel 
Gail M. Reals, recalling her first job out of boot camp, 
relates that she reported to one office in the Educa- 
tion Center at Quantico in 1955 and was transferred 
to another almost immediately because she did not 
have a firm grasp of naval correspondence procedures, 
although she was an above average typist.** 26 




*See Chapter 7 for a detailed discussion of marriage and mother- 
hood regulations. 

**In 1985, while serving as the chief of staff of the Marine Corps 
Development and Education Command, Colonel Reals became the 
first woman to be selected by a promotion board, in competition 
with her male Marine peers, to the rank of brigadier general. 



LtColLilyH. Gridley, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, first 
woman to serve as a legal assistance officer, is pho- 
tographed at Marine Corps Headquarters in 1955. 

There is a feeling among women veterans of the 
time, almost impossible to prove, that women had to 
perform better than men to be considered acceptable. 
Then, once a women was found unsatisfactory, the 
office would not want another woman, no matter how 
many men had done poorly in the same billet. * 

Women officers were in an even less favorable posi- 
tion since their training after officer candidate school 
was limited to the six-week Woman Officer Indoctri- 
nation Course compared to the male lieutenants' nine- 
month Basic School. Furthermore, technical training 
was extremely rare and, for women, professional mili- 
tary schools were unheard of. 

During these years, 1954-1964, very few new fields 
became available to women Marines. Generally, they 
were assigned to the same 27 occupational fields that 
were opened to them as a result of the Korean War. 
Most of the time, they served in no more than 21 of 
these at one given moment, and they maintained the 
usual 50 percent in administration, followed by sup- 
ply, operational communications, and disbursing. 

Rank Does Not Have Its 
Privileges — Officers 

In this post-Korean era, senior women officers and 
senior staff noncommissioned officers faced similar 
problems, since by this time there was a sizable num- 
ber of each and only a limited number of women's 



64 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



program billets requiring so much rank. Women lieu- 
tenant colonels exchanged a few jobs as if on a cir- 
cuit: Commanding Officer, Woman Recruit Training 
Battalion; Commanding Officer, Woman Marine 
Training Detachment; and an occasional assistant G-l 
billet at a base that had been asked if it would accept 
a woman. It was the rule rather than the exception 
to serve in the same billet a second time. Typical of 
the pattern was the career of Lieutenant Colonel El- 
sie E. Hill, who commanded the officer candidate 
school 1949-1951 and again 1965-1966. She command- 
ed the recruit battalion 1954-1956, exchanged posi- 
tions with Lieutenant Colonel Barbara J. Bishop as 
Head, Women's Branch, Division of Reserve, Head- 
quarters Marine Corps and in 1959 returned to the 
recruit battalion at Parris Island. In contrast to the 
Regular women officers, the two Reserve lieutenant 
colonels on active duty, Hazel E. Benn in educational 
services, and Lily H. Gridley, a lawyer, served a full 
20 years in specialized jobs. 

Perhaps the most remarkable senior woman officer 
assignment during this period was that of Lieutenant 
Colonel Emma H. Clowers as Head, Personal Affairs 
Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine 
Corps. 30 She was originally ordered in as the assistant 
branch head on 28 April 1959 but became branch 
head when a male colonel's orders to that department 
were rescinded. No record can be found of a woman 
Marine branch head on that level either before or for 
many years after her tour. She served in that capacity 
for seven years, during which she received strong and 
loyal support from the director of the Personnel 

LtCol Emma H. Clowers discusses the assignment of 
women Marines with a fellow officer in the G-l Divi- 
sion at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in 1955. 




Department and from the 15-20 male officers serving 
as heads of the various sections and as assistant branch 
head. Lieutenant Colonel Clowers found only one 
difficulty in her position which was directly related 
to her being a woman, and that was her lack of rank 
during some of the interbranch negotiations. The law 
at the time barred women officers, other than the 
director, from promotion to colonel, resulting in a 
woman officer (Clowers) performing duties for many 
years in a billet which before and after her assignment 
were performed by male colonels. Upon completion 
of that tour, Lieutenant Colonel Clowers was award- 
ed her second Navy Commendation Medal, having 
received the first during World War II. The citation 
that accompanied her award noted that the duties were 
normally assigned to an officer of greater rank and that 
the hostilities in Vietnam demanded a rapid expan- 
sion of the branch. The scope of her responsibilities 
are underscored in that citation which read in part: 



Extremely competent and resourceful, Colonel Clowers 
performed duties, which are normally assigned to an officer 
of greater rank, in a highly professional manner during a 
time when hostilities in Vietnam demanded rapid expansion 
of the Personal Affairs Branch to meet the added responsi- 
bilities. Through infinite foresight and judicious planning 
she accomplished organizational reforms which enhanced 
the effectiveness of the Personal Affairs Branch. In addition 
to establishing and maintaining excellent liaison and cooper- 
ation with agencies in both the military and civilian com- 
munities through which Marines and their dependents 
receive counselling, financial help, and other needed as- 
sistance, she substantially improved and expedited methods 
of informing concerned and anxious families of the condi- 
tion of wounded or seriously ill Marines. She brought the 
needs of Marines and their families to the attention of those 
who draft and present proposed legislation to the Congress, 
thereby improving the scope and applicability of laws direct- 
ed toward the necessities of military servicemen. With im- 
measurable personal concern and a keen sense of 
responsibility for the welfare and interests of Marines, she 
formulated a program for personal notification of the next 
of kin of casualties in Vietnam; developed and coordinated 
a system by which Marine Retired and Reserve General 
Officers visit evacuees in twenty-three naval hospitals; con- 
tributed materially to the formation of the Family Assistance 
Program, and directed expansion of job counselling facili- 
ties to assist retiring and retired personnel in finding suita- 
ble employment. Throughout her seven years in this capacity 
she skillfully directed her attention to the most minute de- 
tails of each facet of her responsibilities in a manner which 
exemplifies more than could possibly be expected from any 
officer. Colonel Clowers' outstanding service, judgment and 
devotion to duty reflected great credit upon herself and the 
Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the Unit- 
ed States Naval Service. 31 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 



65 




A World War II mail clerk, TSgt Frances A. Curwen, the Marine Corps' only female 
postmaster in 1952, supervised the Mont ford Point Branch, Camp Lejeune Post Office. 



Rank Does Not Have Its Privileges — 
Staff Noncommissioned Officers 

The staff noncommissioned officers were in a slight- 
ly different position in that they generally had a 
specialty and some training, whereas nearly all of the 
field grade officers at the time were classified as either 
women's unit officer or personnel administrator. 
Nevertheless, the staff noncommissioned officer found 
that 1) she was moved out of her field too often to 
serve in women's recruiting or training billets, and 2) 
as she became more senior, she was less welcome since 
she would be in the position to supervise male Ma- 
rines. Then, once she proved herself, she was often con- 
sidered indispensable. Inevitably, a controversy erupted 
when she was needed to fill a slot in the women's pro- 
gram, and more often than not, the Director of Wom- 
en Marines was blamed by the woman for sending her 
on a third recruiting tour, and accused by the assign- 
ment branch of meddling in their business. 

The staff noncommissioned officers of this period 
were, for the most part, former WRs who had served 
in responsible positions during World War II and had 
seen women perform all manner of duties to include 
supervision of male Marines. This only made them 
more incredulous at the narrow attitude taken by many 
male Marines. Master Sergeant Ruth Ryan, in I960, 



for example, was on orders to the Reserve district in 
Atlanta as the Logistics Chief until it was discovered 
that she was a woman. Eventually she went as planned, 
but only after being interviewed by her prospective 
officer in charge, an unusual procedure, and then riot 
as the Logistics Chief, but as the Fiscal Chief, since 
that was deemed more appropriate. 32 

Retired First Sergeant Frances A. Curwen Bilski 
represents a similar case. She had been a mail clerk 
from August 1943 until September 1946 at the fleet 
post office in San Francisco. Following the war, she 
was a member of the VTU and later the WR platoon 
in Boston. Mobilized for the Korean War, she served 
as postmaster at the Montford Point branch of the 
Camp Lejeune post office, and as an instructor at the 
Marine Corps East Coast Postal School in 1952. In the 
early 1960s, after having served as postmaster at Par- 
ris Island, she was ordered to similar duty in Hawaii, 
but the command absolutely refused to have a wom- 
an in the job, saying that the mail bags were too heavy 
for a female. 33 

Noncommissioned Officer 
Leadership School 

With a memorandum to the Assistant Chief of 
Staff, G-3, written by 12 May 1952, Colonel Towle in- 
itiated a stream of correspondence that culminated 



66 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



with the creation of an NCO Leadership School for 
women Marines. 34 She cited the prevailing accelerated 
promotions of enlisted Marines with short periods of 
service and the loss of older, qualified NCOs as evi- 
dence of the need for such a course. Colonel Towle 
recommended that the school be located at Quantico 
in the same barracks used by officer candidates and 
basic second lieutenants from June through 
November. 

The Commandant, Marine Corps Schools, and 
Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp 
Lejeune, were both queried on the matter and in the 
meantime, the Director was asked to furnish guidance 
concerning the mission of the proposed school, sub- 
ject matter to be covered, course length, and appropri- 
ate rank of the students. In answer, Colonel Towle 
recommended a four-week course whose mission 
would be ", . , to train an efficient and continuing 
staff of women noncommissioned officers for the 
duties and responsibilities commonly associated with 
'troop' leadership," 35 and to provide a source of poten- 
tial officer candidates. She emphasized classes in 
leadership, personnel management, technique of in- 



struction, use of training aids, Uniform Code of Mili- 
tary Justice, and military customs and courtesies for 
students ranking from staff sergeant through master 
sergeant. 

Camp Lejeune was selected as the site and First Lieu- 
tenant Mary Jane Connell was named officer in charge. 
On 19 January 1953, for the first time since 1945 a 
Staff NCO Leadership School for women was con- 
vened. Major General Henry D, Linscott, the com- 
manding general, gave the opening address to the 25 
members of the new class 36 Classes were held in a wing 
of Barracks 65 at the Navy Field Medical Research 
Laboratory five and a half days a week. In prepara- 
tion, all the hand-selected instructors, Technical Ser- 
geant Alice Mclntyre, Technical Sergeant Frances A, 
Curwen (later Bilski), Master Sergeant Lillian V. Do- 
lence, and Technical Sergeant Josephine R. Milburn 
attended a month-long session at the Navy Instruc- 
tors School at Norfolk, Virginia 37 Members of the first 
class included: 

Master Sergeant Margaret A. Goings 
Master Sergeant Alice M. Reny 
Master Sergeant Margery R. Wilkie 



Instructors of the Woman Marine Staff NCO Leadership School, Camp Lejeune, con- 
gratulate Officer-in- Charge Elaine T. Carville on her promotion to captain in July 1933. 




UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 



67 



*'*'■$!&>: * ?**&*■ i 









*5> 


* J- 




^V^v 


' ^ 


*R* 




^|mmK!\lJ 






v- ;-*"' /' - \ 'j 

Capt E. T. Carville, officer-in-c barge, NCO Leadership School, is pictured (front row 
center) with Class 9 in 1933- MSgt P. C. Nigro (second row left) was the honor graduate . 



Technical Sergeant Loraine G. Bruso 
Technical Sergeant Eleanor L. Childers 
Technical Sergeant Margaret L. Harwell 
Technical Sergeant Beatrice J. Jackson 
Technical Sergeant Dorothy L. Kearns 
Technical Sergeant Blossom J. McCall 
Technical Sergeant Sarah N. Thornton 
Technical Sergeant Laura H. Woolger 
Staff Sergeant May S. Belletto 
Staff Sergeant Phyllis J. Curtiss 
Staff Sergeant Anna M. Finnigan 
Staff Sergeant Nellie C George 
Staff Sergeant Naomi Hutchinson 
Staff Sergeant Inez E. Smith 
Staff Sergeant Dorothy L. Vollmer 
Sergeant Carolyn J. Freeman 
Sergeant Sonya A. Green 
Sergeant Mary E. King 
Sergeant Dorothy L. Ley 
Sergeant Carol J. Homan 
Sergeant Margaret A. Shaffer 38 

Colonel Towle gave the graduation speech and dis- 
tributed the diplomas at ceremonies held on 13 Febru- 
ary 1953, 10th anniversary of the Women Marines. The 
honor student for this first woman Marine NCO 
Leadership Class was Master Sergeant Reny, with Tech- 
nical Sergeant Childers in second place, and Staff Ser- 
geant Vollmer in third. Classes continued at Camp 
Lejeune for a little more than a year on a five-week 
cycle, four weeks of training and one week off. Staff 



changes brought Captain Elaine T Carville as the 
officer in charge with First Lieutenant Connell as her 
assistant and Technical Sergeants Lillian J. West and 
June V. Doberstein as instructors. 39 

Colonel Hamblet, successor to Colonel Towle, 
reevaluated the situation and while convinced of the 
real need for the school, found the basis on which it 
was being run to be inefficient. Only 129 students 
rather than the authorized 225 had completed the 
training. The table of organization called for one of- 
ficer, four enlisted instructors, and one clerk typist and 
the physical facilities used by the women included an 
office, a classroom, and a wing of a barracks. She pro- 
posed a move to Quantico since the staff required to 
train officer candidates from June through November 
could handle the NCO School during the winter 
months with only two additional enlisted women in- 
structors. In turn, these enlisted women could be 
profitably used as platoon sergeants in the officer can- 
didate program. There was at the time an unsuccess- 
ful (in terms of numbers) winter officer candidate class 
which would have to be cancelled, thereby making the 
barracks, classroom, and staff available. 40 

The plan, promising a personnel and financial sav- 
ings, was enthusiastically endorsed at Headquarters 
and by September 1954 the change were made. Tech- 
nical Sergeants West and Doberstein was transferred 



68 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



to Quantico where they worked with NCOs during the 
winter and officer candidates in the summer. Captain 
Carville was sent to Parris Island, and the remainder 
of the staff was dispersed. 

The majority of women noncommissioned officers 
received leadership training during these years, 
1954-1964, at the course conducted by the Women Ma- 
rines Detachment, Quantico. Several commands as- 
signed women to local, predominantly male, NCO 
schools. In fact, as early as 1951, Staff Sergeant Laura 
H. Woolger attended the 2d Wing NCO leadership 
school, graduating on 10 August of that year. A dif- 
ferent tactic was tried at San Diego, California, where 
in 1959, the depot NCO school conducted two one- 
week accelerated courses for women Marines. 

A Woman in the Fleet Marine Force 

In this decade of status quo, it is surprising to find 
the first reported WM working in an FMF head- 
quarters, admittedly in a traditional job. On 13 Janu- 
ary 1954, Private First Class Betty Sue Murray was 
assigned as the secretary to the Commanding Gener- 
al, 2d Marine Division, Major General George F. 
Good, Jr. 41 The general had called Captain Elaine T. 



Carville, Commanding Officer, Woman Marine Com- 
pany, Camp Lejeune, and told her that his office was 
in a mess, that he could not find anything, and that 
he wanted a woman Marine immediately. She ex- 
plained that women Marines could not be assigned 
to an FMF unit, but the general only answered that 
he trusted her to work out the administrative details. 
Private First Class Murray was officially attached to the 
office of the Commanding Officer, Headquarters Bat- 
talion, Marine Corps Base (Colonel John H. Cook), 
billeted in the WM barracks, and worked for Major 
General Good. She stayed at the job long enough to 
serve his successors, Major General Lewis B. Puller and 
Brigadier General Edward W. Snedeker. 42 Not until 
1975, 20 years in the future, would WMs be assigned 
legitimately to any FMF unit 

1954-1964 Summary 
The WM situation then, on 30 June 1964, was a 
strength of 129 officers and 1,320 enlisted women serv- 
ing in 20 occupational fields. Women received little 
formal technical MOS training and were assigned to 
only one professional development course, the NCO 
Leadership School. 



CHAPTER 6 

Utilization and Numbers: Pepper Board, 1964-1972 

The Pepper Board— Women Marine Program Revitalized, 1965-1973 — Strength Increases 

Women Officers Specialist Training, 1965 -197 3 -Women Lawyers and Judges, A Beginning 

Professional Training— Amphibious Warfare School— Post-Graduate Schooling 

Command and Staff College — The Armed Forces Staff College 

Advanced Training and Assignment of Enlisted Women Marines, 1965-1973 

New Woman Marine Units, Stateside— Women Marines Overseas— Women Marines in Vietnam 

Women Marines in Marine Security Guard Battalion — Women Marines Overseas, Summary 



Rapidly waning strength, unsatisfactory recruitment 
and retention results, and a need to improve the sta- 
tus and acceptance of women in the Marine Corps were 
the basis of Marine Corps Bulletin 5312, dated 27 
February 1963, asking commands for recommenda- 
tions on more efficient utilization of WMs. The results 
were collated and sent to the Director, Colonel Mar- 
garet M. Henderson, for comment. She categorized 
the recommendations into: 

1. those which could not be implemented by the com- 
mands themselves. 

2. those which were presumably already in effect. 

3. those relating to more formal training for women 
Marines. 

4. those which had possibilities, but required more study. 

5. those in which she nonconcurred. 

Taken as a whole, the recommendations made by 
the commands demonstrated a general lack of under- 
standing of the status of women in the Marine Corps. 
It was readily apparent that the women were not 
thought of as personnel assets to be managed as all 
Marines. Statements that WMs should be assigned to 
billets appropriate to their grade and MOS, that wom- 
en should be encouraged to participate in correspon- 
dence courses relating to their occupational specialty, 
and that the same performance standards be demand- 
ed of them as for male Marines, indicated a flaw in 
the system at the command level rather than in Head- 
quarters policy since all of these matters came under 
local purview. 1 

On one subject, the need for more formal training 
for women Marines, there was unanimity. Colonel 
Henderson strongly concurred, pointing out the fal- 
lacy of assigning WMs with eight weeks of recruit train- 
ing directly to support establishment billets, and 
expecting the degree of knowledge and skill shown by 
male Marines who, after 11 weeks of recruit training, 
and four weeks of infantry training, had more than 
likely served 13 months in the Fleet Marine Force. She 
supported her stand with the statement: 

Seventy percent of our Women Marine recruit graduates 
are between the ages of 18 and 20 and, in most instances, 
have come directly from high school into the Marine Corps 
with little or no work experience. These young women are 
bright, capable trainees, but we are actually expecting them 



to be proficient in a specific MOS with only eight weeks of 
basic training. During calendar year 1963, 771 women Ma- 
rines completed recruit training and only five were ordered 
directly from recruit training to a service school. In com- 
parison, the women basic graduates from the Army, Navy 
and Air Force were ordered directly to service school as 
follows: 

(a) Army, approximately 90 percent 

(b) Navy, approximately 50 percent 

(c) Air Force, approximately 60 percent 2 

Colonel Henderson reasoned that specialty train- 
ing in administration, supply, and communications 
would greatly improve the performance of WM recruit 
graduates since 77 percent of the 1963 graduates were 
concentrated in those three fields. 

One week following the submission of her com- 
ments, Colonel Henderson completed her tour, and 
on 3 January 1964, she was relieved as Director of 
Women Marines by Colonel Barbara J. Bishop. Just 
three days earlier on the 1st of January, General Wal- 
lace M. Greene, Jr., took the helm as the 23d Com- 
mandant of the Marine Corps, a timely occurrence for 
the women Marines. Writing about him later, Colonel 
Bishop said, "General Greene was light years ahead 
of his time in his support of increased opportunities 
for women Marines. 1 ' 3 

Shortly after assuming command of the Corps, he 
directed Colonel Bishop to submit recommendations 
to effect improvement in the selection, training, and 
utilization of women Marines. Taking each identifiable 
problem in order: a strength decline to 1,333 WMs 
on 30 April 1964; conflicts over the assignments of 
noncommissioned officers and officers; unsatisfacto- 
ry recruiting results for officers and enlisted women; 
inadequate training; inefficient utilization; low reten- 
tion; and poor living conditions for enlisted women, 
Colonel Bishop expressed a number of highly con- 
troversial facts, observations, and recommendations. 4 

A discussion of the strength and general utilization 
of women Marines centered on the traditionally ac- 
cepted goal of one percent of total enlisted strength, 
1,750 enlisted women and 175 officers, which was con- 
sidered workable based upon billeting conditions at 
the time. Women were assigned to all bases having 
mobilization requirements for WMs except the Ma- 

69 



70 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




LCpl A. Digman Atau, one of two women at El Tow in 1963 to give pilots training 
in the aviation trainer field, instructs CplJ. Harris in the operation of an F8 link trainer. 



rine Corps Supply Centers at Barstow and Albany, a 
factor which would cause a delay in time of emergen- 
cy. Accordingly, Colonel Bishop recommended that 
woman Marine units be established at those two ac- 
tivities. And finally, in connection with general utili- 
zation of women, Colonel Bishop noted that in filling 
certain command, training, and recruiting billets there 
was a conflict between the authority of the Personnel 
Department and the Director of Women Marines, she 
asked that all changes of station orders for WM officers 
and enlisted women be routed to her office for 
information and concurrence. 

Turning to officer training, policy at the time al- 
lowed officer candidates to disenroll at any time dur- 



ing the training cycle, and many did so before giving 
themselves a chance to adjust to military life. The 
colonel recommended a change that would require all 
candidates to complete the course before making such 
a decision. 

As for the career officer, she said: 

There is a definite need to provide women majors and 
lieutenant colonels with professional education in command 
and staff duties. The value of advanced military education 
is recognized for male officers and the need is met by as- 
signment to the Senior Course [later Command and Staff 
College]. Women officers of field grade would benefit equally 
from broadened knowledge of policies, programs and 
problems at all levels of the military establishment and of 
staff functioning at Headquarters Marine Corps, in the 
Department of Defense, and on joint staffs. 5 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



71 



lb that end, Colonel Bishop reviewed the 1964-1965 
syllabus for the Senior Course, held at Quantico, and 
determined that at least 432 hours of instruction 
would be extremely valuable for women. She specifi- 
cally identified the following courses: Executive Leader- 
ship, Management Techniques and Procedures, 
Geopolitical and Current World Situation, Organiza- 
tion and Functioning for National Security, and For- 
eign Language. 

In respect to senior WM officers' utilization, she dis- 
cussed the hesitancy to assign them on the basis of 
their professional qualifications. She wrote: 

When a woman major or lieutenant colonel becomes eligi- 
ble for transfer and one of the billets requiring a woman 
is not available, there is a tendency prior to issuance of ord- 
ers to query commands on their willingness to accept a wom- 
an. Acceptance is not based on ability since certainly the 
Personnel Monitors would not recommend the assignment 
of a woman to a billet inappropriate to her rank and profes- 
sional qualifications. 6 

Then, as each Director of Women Marines before 
had done, Colonel Bishop pointed out the need for 
advanced specialist training for enlisted women. And, 
she ended her report with recommendations designed 
to improve the retention rate of WMs. These includ- 
ed a stricter policy on separations due to marriage 
balanced by increased efforts to station husbands and 
wives together, abolishment of the two-year enlistment 
contract in favor of a three- or four-year commitment, 
a guarantee similar to the one made to male enlistees 
of a change of station during the first enlistment, and 
improved living conditions. On the latter subject she 
was emphatic. It was not just that the women needed 
more privacy, she argued, but they spend more time 
in the barracks than men; the women staff NCOs who 
remain in the service are more likely to be single than 
male Marines who marry and live in their family 
homes; the majority of career women Marines would 
never share in the large expenditures made on mar- 
ried quarters and in the support of dependents' pro- 
grams; and because the women took such good care 
of their barracks, inspecting officers were duly im- 
pressed by the cleanliness and attempts to create a 
homelike atmosphere. She recommended new con- 
struction of barracks adapted to the needs of women 
or at least the complete rehabilitation of existing struc- 
tures, to be accomplished with the aid of a nationally 
known interior decorator. 

That then is the essence of Director of Women Ma- 
rines Study No. 1-64, a report that precipitated so 
much opposition that the Commandant ordered the 



creation of a study group to "propose a program to 
render the peacetime service of women Marines of op- 
timum benefit to the Marine Corps." 7 

The Pepper Board 

On 3 August 1964, Lieutenant General Robert H. 
Pepper, USMC (Retired), was designated chairman of 
the Woman Marine Program Study Group, popularly 
known as the Pepper Board. 8 The members included 
Colonel Bishop; Colonel Frank R. Porter, Jr., represen- 
tative, G-l; Lieutenant Colonel Eugenous E. Hovat- 
ter, representative, Director of Personnel; Lieutenant 
Colonel Alfred I. Thomas, representative, G-3; Major 
Paul R. Fields, representative, G-4; Major Patricia A. 
Maas, representative, WM; Major Charles E. Baker, 
representative, Aviation; Major Paul P. Pirhalla, 
representative, Fiscal; and Major Jenny Wrenn, record- 
er. The Commandant's letter of instruction directed 
the study group to convene on 11 August 1964 and 
to submit its report by 1 October. Early on it was ap- 
parent that a detailed study could not be completed 
in the time allowed and verbal authority was given to 
extend the deadline as necessary. The final report was 
submitted on 30 November and routed to staff sec- 
tions at Headquarters Marine Corps for comment. 

Reaction was mixed and ranged from enthusiastic 
support for the 83 recommendations to bitter op- 
position. The Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Major 
General Richard G. Weede, for example, concurred 
with all but one recommendation under his purview. 
The one exception was the recommendation that 
selected field grade officers attend the Marine Corps 
Command and Staff College as full-time students. G-3 
Division preferred courses in civilian universities for 
women officers or attendance at only a few selected 
subcourses of the Command and Staff College. 

On the other hand, the Personnel Department, 
headed by Major General Lewis J. Fields, took issue 
with the thrust of the report and the philosophy that 
costly improvement would, in his words, ". . . attract 
more young ladies into the Marine Corps and induce 
them to stay longer and be more productive during 
their stay." 9 He continued, "We should . . . tailor our 
whole women's program to attract not young, un- 
trained small-town high school graduates, but young 
women of professional skills and training who truly 
want to make their mark in a man's (which the mili- 
tary is unarguably) world." 10 General Fields recom- 
mended recruitment of women already trained for a 
skilled trade, advanced rank, personal freedom com- 



72 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



parable with Civil Service, and "a modified training 
program designed to teach about the Corps and not 
how to be a male Marine in skirts." 11 And lastly, since 
the Personnel Department reasoned that the greatest 
problem in WM housing in most places was caused 
by overcrowding, it was submitted that, "the best and 
quickest means of improving current housing would 
be to reduce the WM strength. . . " 12 

In light of staff comments, some recommendations 
were changed or modified and on 13 April 1965 a Ma- 
rine Corps Bulletin directed the staff agencies to take 
action on 75 of the recommendations already approved 
by the Commandant, and a reporting schedule was 
set up to keep General Greene informed of the 
progress being made. Although the program was con- 
sidered long-range, not to be fully realized for two 
years, more than half of the proposals were at least 
a matter of policy by mid-1965. As a result, Lieutenant 
Colonel Jeanette I. Sustad was named to the new post 
of Deputy Director of Women Marines. In the past, 
the next senior woman officer at Headquarters filled 
that billet as an additional duty. 

Women were to be assigned to and get training in 
a broader range of occupational fields, to include 
drafting, lithography, operational communications, 
communications maintenance, auditing, finance, ac- 
counting, informational services, aerology, air control, 
and flight equipment. The Basic Supply School and 
Teletype Operator School were made available almost 
immediately. The Pepper Board recommendation that 
senior officers attend Command and Staff College was 
unacceptable to most staff officers and post-graduate 
training in civilian or military schools was approved 
as a substitute. 

An impressive list of new duty stations for WMs was 
published to include: Fleet Home Town News Center 
at Great Lakes; Marine Corps Reserve Data Services 
Center, Kansas City; Marine Corps Base, Twentynine 
Palms, California; Marine Air Reserve Training Center, 
Glenview, Illinois; the Supply Centers at Albany and 
Barstow; and Marine Corps Air Stations at Beaufort, 
New River, Kaneohe, Santa Ana, and Yuma. The ab- 
sence of a WM Company or barracks no longer 
precluded the assignment of women Marines to any 
post or station as long as suitable offstation housing 
was available. Additionally, women would be afford- 
ed more overseas billets. 

Changes in basic training included a greater use of 
male instructors; increased instruction in personal de- 



velopment and grooming;* integration of some class- 
es at the Woman Officer Basic Course and the Woman 
Officer Candidate Class; and a new requirement that 
candidates complete four weeks of training before be- 
ing allowed to disenroll. At Parris Island, a two-platoon 
system or series system was created to inspire compe- 
tition, and on- base liberty for recruits was to be in ef- 
fect by January I966. 

Enlistment incentives that guaranteed preferred 
area, school, and occupational assignments to quali- 
fied enlisted women were planned. For the new officers 
who requested it, there was the promise of two duty 
stations during the initial three-year period of active 
duty. 

To settle the difficulties of assignment arising from 
varying interests of the Director of Women Marines 
and the Personnel Department, a woman officer was 
assigned to the Classification and Assignment Branch 
at Headquarters as an occupational field monitor. 
Major Valeria F Hilgart was the first to fill that posi- 
tion, arriving in Washington in November 1966. 

An aggressive enforcement of the recommendations 
covering better living conditions for the women await- 
ed the result of a Department of Defense study on 
the subject. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps reevaluat- 
ed all WM barracks, SNCO quarters, and the furnish- 
ings. At Parris Island, lockers and dressers were 
installed in the recruit barracks to make their quart- 
ers less austere.** At Camp Pendleton, plans were 
made for a newly constructed WM barracks. 

These are but a fraction of the changes in effect or 
on the drawing board in 1965. Some were implement- 
ed quickly; others came only with firm prodding from 



*"Strangely (?) this became the most controversial change in WM 
training and was fiercely and almost entirely opposed by the senior 
WM officers and senior WM NCOs! I was determined to institute 
this program for a number of very valid (as they later proved) reasons: 

(1) to give polish and new confidence to the individual woman. 

(2) to improve WM recruiting by sending the girl back home 
where her improved and smart appearance invariably brought com- 
pliments and new recruits. 

(3) to emphasize femininity as an asset to a woman's role in the 
military— to be coupled with proper assignment. 

I enlisted and received the enthusiastic assistance of airlines which 
conducted aircraft hostess training schools (e.g. Pan Am) to which 
I assigned selected WM instructors for training and return to P.I. 
where we established a good grooming school. Beauty aids were 
provided free of charge by national cosmetic firms." (Gen Wallace 
M. Greene, Jr., comments on draft manuscript, dtd 26Dec79) 

**A new clothing layout inspection requiring certain items to 
be displayed hanging in a locker hastened the addition of lockers 
to recruit barracks. 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



73 




At the time the Marine Corps' only woman Marine 
lawyer on active duty, future military judge Capt 
Patricia A, Murphy, is promoted by Ma] Jane Wallis, 
Commanding Officer, WM Company, and LtCol 
Frederick D, Clements, at Camp Butler in 1961. 

General Greene, In November of 1965 the Comman- 
dant was given a resume of actions completed on the 
Pepper Board recommendations which indicated con- 
siderable progress had been made. Not fully satisfied, 
he sent it to Colonel Bishop for her views. She began 
her remarks by noting the strength increase from 128 
officers and 1,320 enlisted women on 30 June 1964 
to 145 officers and 1,718 enlisted women on board on 
31 October 1965 and the increased satisfaction ex- 
pressed by commands with the performance and ap- 
pearance of women Marines. 13 

She then commented in depth on the more disap- 
pointing progress shown in some areas. Of particular 
concern was the question of advanced training for 
senior officers. The original recommendation to send 
WM officers to Command and Staff College had been 
diluted to a statement about providing postgraduate 
training in civilian or military schools and the nota- 
tion that WM officers were eligible to compete with 
male applicants for post-graduate training. No other 
action was considered necessary on this recommenda- 
tion. Colonel Bishop wrote: 

This has always been the case, with the result that one 
woman in 1950 managed to obtain a year in Personnel Ad- 
ministration at Ohio State. No gain has been made here 
as post-graduate training for senior women was to be a sub- 
stitute for advanced professional training available to career 
Marines in AWS (Amphibious Warfare School) and Com- 
mand and Staff College, 14 

After comparing Colonel Bishop's separate assess- 
ment of the progress made with that provided by the 
G-l, the Commandant pencilled in on the latter; 



1. I want this type of report coordinated with the DIRWM 
prior to submission to CMC. 

2. I have approved this particular report, but I am definite- 
ly not satisfied 'with action reported. See attached comments 
DIRWMs which deserve consideration and action. 15 

Women Marine Program Revitalized, 1965-1973 

Three unrelated factors of disparate importance all 
joined to alter the future course of the woman Ma- 
rine program at this point: a stricter policy on dis- 
charge based on marriage effective 15 July 1964; the 
Pepper Board report of 30 November 1964; and in- 
creased involvement of Marines in the war in Vietnam 
in 1965, Dramatic progress was made in strength, 
availability of formal training, opening of new occupa- 
tional fields, and in assignment possibilities in the 
United States and overseas. 

Strength Increases 

The Pepper Board reaffirmed the policy stated in 
1948 of maintaining a woman Marine strength of one 
percent of total Marine Corps enlisted strength. Ac- 
tually the number of WMs had been steadily declin- 
ing since 1953, leveling off at the one percent goal, 
approximately 1,700 from 1956 to 1959 and reaching 
a nadir of 1,281 in December 1964, when the Pepper 
Board reported its findings. In August 1965, due to 
Vietnam commitments, a 30,000-man increase was ap- 
proved for the Marine Corps and higher objectives were 
concurrently set for WMs. By 31 May 1967, enlisted 
strength was 2,082 and officer strength reached 190. 
A peak of about 2,700 WMs was reached during the 
Vietnam era of 1968 and 1969 and then tapered to 
2,288 on 30 June 1973. 16 

Higher recruiting goals accounted for some of the 
success, but more impact was made by better reten- 
tion due to tighter control of discharges solely for rea- 
son of marriage. On 15 July 1964, a joint household 
policy became effective which denied discharge to 
women Marines who were located in the same area as 
their husbands. All discharges of this type were then 
suspended on 20 August 1965 in conjunction with a 
four- month involuntary extension for all Marines, By 
1966 new regulations virtually eliminated marriage as 
a condition for discharge for WMs resulting in a reduc- 
tion of that type of separation from 18.6 percent of 
woman Marine losses in 1964 to 2.3 percent in 1966 
and finally percent in 1969, 17 

Recruiting incentives guaranteeing geographic 
choices of duty and formal training combined with 
other enhancements resulting from the implementa- 



74 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



tion of Pepper Board recommendations raised enlist- 
ed recruiting from about 60 percent attainment of 
quota in 1963 to 105.7 percent in 1966. Officer selec- 
tion not only improved numerically, but a larger 
proportion of candidates were seniors or graduates 
than in previous years, a factor which cut down on the 
drop-out rate of younger students and ultimately led 
to an increase in commissions accepted. In 1966, 
officer selection attained 103.3 percent of senior- 
graduates quota and 152.5 percent of junior quota. 
Sophomores were no longer eligible. 18 At the same 
time, the percent of women recruited as Regulars to 
serve a three- or four-year contract as opposed to 
Reserves with a two-year obligation rose from 48 per- 
cent in June to 77 percent on 31 March 1968. 19 

All told, efforts in the mid-1960s to stabilize the 
woman Marine program, to encourage women Marines 
to complete their initial enlistment, to lengthen the 
average tour of women Marines, and to make the Ma- 
rine Corps an attractive choice for potential enlistees 
achieved demonstrable success. 

Women Officers' Specialist Training, 
1965-1973 

In 1964, women officers were serving in only eight 
occupational fields with about 70 percent in ad- 
ministrative billets, and no deliberate attempt was 
made to achieve a wider distribution. Only 30.6 per- 
cent of the second lieutenants commissioned in the 
three-year period ending in 1964 had received formal 
specialist training. No training was available in per- 
sonnel administration although the majority of women 
officers served in this field. In contrast, members of 
the 20th Woman Officers Basic Course which gradu- 
ated in October 1966 were assigned in 14 occupation- 
al fields to include intelligence, operational 
communications, transportation, legal, avionics, aer- 
ology, and aviation operations, specialities in which 
women officers had been a rarity since World War II. 
Other fields to which the graduates were assigned were 
personnel and administration; supply administration 
and operations; auditing, finance, and accounting; 
data processing; Marine Corps exchange; information 
services; photography; training and training aids; and 
air control-antiair warfare. Seventy- two percent of these 
newly commissioned women officers received formal 
training at eight schools. 20 Earlier in the year, First 
Lieutenant Alice K. Kurashige, the first woman Ma- 
rine officer since World War II to be assigned a primary 
MOS in food service, completed a 12 -week course in 
food services supervision at Fort Lee, Virginia. 




Capt Carol A, Vertalino, first woman Marine officer 
to attend Amphibious Warfare School, is shown with 
LtGen Carson A. Roberts, Commanding General, 
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, at Quantico in 1963. 

The following spring, 1967, Colonel Bishop report- 
ed in the Woman Marine Newsletter on the status of 
this officer training. The first WM officers to attend 
the Communication Officers Orientation Course at 
Quantico had made an impressive showing. In a class 
of three women and 23 men, Second Lieutenant Mar- 
garet B. Read finished second; Second Lieutenant 
Patricia A. Allegree fourth; and Second Lieutenant Lyn 
A. Liddle sixth. Second Lieutenant Janice C Scott had 
completed the Military Intelligence Orientation 
Course at Fort Holabird, Maryland, in January and 
continued on to attend the 18-week Aerial Surveillance 
Officer Course. Second Lieutenant Tommy L. Treas- 
ure, also a graduate of Fort Holabird's Military Intel- 
ligence Officer Course, was ordered to a subsequent 
Aerial Surveillance Officers Course. CWO Elaine G. 
Freeman was to begin a four-week course in automat- 
ic data processing analysis in April and Captain Sara 
R. Beauchamp and Second Lieutenant JoAnn Deber- 
ry would follow in June. Four WM officers, Second 
Lieutenants Alpha R. Noguera, Donna J. Sherwood, 
Norma L. Tomlinson, and Harriet T. Wendel were 
scheduled to attend the 10-week Air Traffic Control 
Officers Course at the Naval Air Station, Glynco, 
Georgia 21 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



75 



Women Lawyers and Judges— A Beginning 

On 1 May 1944, Captain Lily S. Hutcheon, a law- 
yer stationed at Camp Lejeune, became the first wom- 
an judge advocate in the history of the Marine Corps. 
Captain Hutcheon had originally joined the Navy, but 
upon completion of Midshipman's School at North- 
hampton, Massachusetts, was commissioned a first 
lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. 
She was released to inactive duty in 1946 but returned 
to continuous active duty in 1949. Under her married 
name, Gridley, she became a well-known Marine, 
highly respected for her work in legal assistance at 



Headquarters Marine Corps where she served until her 
retirement in 1965. Lieutenant Colonel Gridley, for 
all those years, was the only woman Marine lawyer. 22 

Then, as a direct result of the Pepper Board study, 
a woman was permitted to complete officer candidate 
training, accept a commission, and delay her active 
duty service while attending law school. In 1966-1967, 
First Lieutenant Patricia A. Murphy received her 
bachelor of laws degree from Catholic University in 
Washington, D.C., graduated from the Woman Of- 
ficer Basic Course, passed the District of Columbia Bar 
examination, graduated from the Lawyer's Course at 



SSgts Mary L. McLain (left) and Carmen Adams (right), the first enlisted women to ar- 
rive for duty at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, are greeted by Col William 
M. Lundin, commanding officer; SgtMajJ. F. Moore; and IstSgt K. L. Ford in 1967. 




76 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Naval Justice School, was selected for promotion to 
captain, and was certified by the Judge Advocate 
General to perform as a trial or defense counsel of a 
general court martial. 23 Two years later, she became 
the first woman Marine officer ever to argue a case be- 
fore the Court of Military Appeals, and in 1970 while 
stationed at Treasure Island, California, and by then 
Captain Patricia Murphy Gormley, she became the first 
woman Marine lawyer in 26 years to be certified as a 
military judge. 24 

Professional Training 

The Woman Marine Program Study Group (Pep- 
per Board) identified the lack of career-type formal 
school training as the most notable deficiency in the 
woman Marine officer program. There was almost to- 
tal opposition to the inclusion of women students at 
the Marine Corps' Command and Staff College since 
it would deprive a male Marine of the opportunity to 
attend this career-enhancing school. Less was said of 
the junior level course conducted for captains and 
majors at the Amphibious Warfare School and there 
was no opposition to sending women to Army or Navy 
schools provided these services would not ask for a 
reciprocal space in a Marine school for a WAC or WAVE 
officer. 

Through unofficial conversation with the Director, 
Women's Army Corps, Colonel Bishop was able to lay 
the groundwork for women Marines to participate in 
the five-month WAC Career Officers Course at Fort 
McClellan, Alabama. Captain Barbara J. Lee, the first 
Marine to attend, graduated in May 196 5 2S She was 
followed by seven others. Captains Elaine E. Filkins 
(later Davies), Gail M. Reals, Jeanne Botwright (later 
Humphrey), and Joan M. Collins, who distinguished 
herself as an honor graduate by finishing second in 
the class, comprised an early group. The last three 
women to attend this school before it was disestab- 
lished in 1972 were Captains Karen G. Grant, 
Judybeth D. Barnett, and Ellen T. Laws. 28 

Amphibious Warfare School 

Given the climate of the period following the Pep- 
per Board, the intense interest of Colonel Bishop in 
woman officer schooling, and the vigorous support of 
General Greene, it was but a matter of time before 
a woman officer was enrolled in the Marine Corps' 
Amphibious Warfare Course. Captain Carol A. Ver- 
talino (later Diliberto) was assigned to a modified ver- 
sion of AWS 1-67, on a trial basis, beginning on 23 
August 1966. Aware of the limits of her formal mili- 



tary education, and knowing that the future assign- 
ment of WMs to the school was contingent upon her 
performance, Captain Vertalino spoke of her appre- 
hension to Colonel Bishop. The director assured her 
that her selection was based on her professional repu- 
tation and her ability to get along with people. She 
was not expected to finish first in the class, indeed that 
might antagonize her fellow students. With five 
months to prepare herself, Captain Vertalino, on her 
own time, completed the Basic Officer and the AWS 
correspondence courses, each one designed to take the 
better part of a year. 

The normal syllabus was altered to allow the lone 
woman student to visit base staff offices for briefings 
and informal training while the class was working on 
combat-related matters. It proved awkward for all con- 
cerned, the academic staff making suitable ar- 
rangements, the staff sections assigned to brief her, 
and, most of all, for Captain Vertalino. After her suc- 
cessful completion of the course in May 1967, it was 
decided that woman officers would attend subsequent, 
unmodified classes at AWS. 27 

Post- Graduate Schooling 

For the first time in more than 15 years, a woman 
officer was selected for postgraduate training in the 
Special Education Program* In July 1967, First Lieu- 
tenant Judith Davenport reported to the Naval Post 
Graduate School at Monterey, California, to pursue 
a two-year course in applied mathematics. 28 

Command and Staff College 

The question of women officer students at the Ma- 
rine Corps Command and Staff College remained un- 
resolved for more than three years after the 
recommendation was made by the Pepper Board. En- 
couraged by the passage of Public Law 90-130 in 1967 
which made women eligible for selection to the per- 
manent grade of colonel, Colonel Bishop sent a 
memorandum to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, in 
which she stated; 

. . . women officers will be expected to fill established 
billets appropriate for the grade of colonel in various Ma- 
rine Corps commands. . . . Women Marines who are now 
lieutenant colonels have had little or no formal professional 
education during their service careers. Efforts should be 
directed toward providing the younger group of these lieu- 
tenant colonels with career training which will enable them 
to serve beneficially in higher grades. 29 

She asked that Lieutenant Colonel Jenny Wrenn be 



*In 1950, Major Julia E. Hamblet attended Ohio State. 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



77 



assigned, on a trial basis, to the class convening in Au- 
gust 1968. Lieutenant Colonel Wrenn had previously 
asked for such an assignment and the colonel for whom 
she worked, Chief, Plans and Operations Branch, Ma- 
rine Corps Education Center, indicated to Colonel 
Bishop that he considered her to be, "an outstanding 
candidate should women officers be assigned to Com- 
mand and Staff College." 30 Approval came on 9 Febru- 
ary 1968 and included the words: 

It is recognized that the restricted nature of assignments 
for Women Marine officers will preclude the full applica- 
tion of all instruction received from the college. However, 
participation in the full syllabus will provide valuable pro- 
fessional knowledge to enhance the growth of this selected 
Woman Marine officer and correspondingly increase her value 
to the US. Marine Corps. 31 

Women officers at the time reasoned that all Ma- 
rine officers are limited to some degree by their clas- 
sification as infantry officer, aviator, supply officer, etc., 
and none of them could expect to use fully all the in- 
structional material. Since Lieutenant Colonel Wrenn 
successfully completed the Command and Staff Col- 
lege, women officers have been regularly included as 
class members. 

The Armed Forces Staff College 

The Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Vir- 
ginia, opened its doors to women officers in 1970. Pro- 
vision was made for a quota of one woman officer of 
each service for the class which convened in February. 
Competition for selection between men and women 
was thereby eliminated and apparently there was no 
Marine Corps opposition to the plan to send a wom- 
an officer to this high-level school. Lieutenant Colonel 
Mary Evelyn Bane was selected to attend this course, 
graduated, and was then assigned to the G-l Division 
at Headquarters Marine Corps. 32 

Completion of such a prestigious military school did 
not dispel the notion that women colonels were not 
to be assigned in the normal fashion. When Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Bane was selected for promotion, the 
personnel monitor responsible for colonel assignments 
called her in and asked her where she thought she 
should be transferred since in her words, "The thought 
of disposing of a woman colonel was turning him 
pale." 33 Based upon her past experience, and her train- 
ing, she offered the opinion that the most logical place 
might be Headquarters. He did not agree and said, 
"That would never do. You would have to be a branch 
head." 34 And so Colonel Bane was ordered to Camp 



Pendleton where she filled an assistant chief of staff 
billet* 

Advanced Training and Assignment of 
Enlisted Women Marines, 1963-1973 

Little time was lost between the Commandant's ap- 
proval in mid-1965 and the implementation of the 
Pepper Board's recommendations regarding advanced 
training for enlisted women Marines. On 1 January 
1966 a program emphasizing advanced technical train- 
ing for women recruit graduates was published. Its 
purpose was to bring the woman Marine to an effec- 
tive level of proficiency in her MOS as soon as possi- 
ble. During the first six months of 1966, 75 percent 
of the women recruit graduates went on to advanced 
formal schools in 17 different fields, a sharp contrast 
to the five recruits who received post-recruit training 
in 1963. 35 In the Winter 1967 Woman Marine News- 
letter, Colonel Bishop reported that women Marines 
attended a variety of military schools at Army, Navy, 
and Marine Corps bases and received basic-level in- 
struction in such areas as administration, supply, 
telecommunications, electronics, disbursing, photog- 
raphy, aviation operations, aerology, air control, avia- 
tion training devices, optical instrument repair, 
transportation, cooking and baking, and journalism. 
Others attended advanced courses such as NCO 
leadership, administration chief, recruiting, air con- 
trol, legal clerk and court reporter, supply, process pho- 
tography, Marine security guard, instructor orientation, 
and data processing. 36 

During the period 1965-1973, opportunities for 
women Marines were greatly expanded. The gains were 
evident but not to be taken for granted. Many long- 
held assignment prejudices persisted. Women Marines 
sent to the Naval Air Station, Memphis, for advanced 
training in aviation specialties, for example, were near- 
ly all channeled into aviation supply and aviation 
operations, crowding these two specialties while others 
were far short of the planned WM quotas. Others, 
upon arrival at Memphis were reclassified into fields 
such as administration, which Colonel Bishop noted 
as ". . . unfortunate since they are denied advanced 
training and, having qualified for aviation school, they 
are among the better qualified WMs. . . " 37 The Com- 
mandant reacted quickly with a letter to the com- 



*In 1975 Colonel Bane returned to Headquarters as the Head 
of the Separation and Retirement Branch where she served until 
her retirement in 1977. 



78 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



manding officer of the Marine Aviation Detachment 
at Memphis stating: 

It is the Commandant's desire that Women Marines be 
assigned to a greater range of military occupational special- 
ties to form a more efficient mobilization base. In conse- 
quence, it is requested that Women Marines assigned to your 
command for aviation training be assigned in the percent- 
ages indicated. . . , 38 

A second example of strictly "sexist" assignments 
was the practice of using attractive, intelligent wom- 
en Marines in jobs that were more show than sub- 
stance. A number of WMs served in highly visible 
positions as receptionists in the Pentagon and it often 
happened that the most capable were retained there 
for inordinate periods of time. This worked to the dis- 
advantage of the individual woman Marine who, when 
eventually transferred, found herself on a Marine 
Corps base as a staff noncommissioned officer without 
adequate experience to supervise, instruct, and coun- 
sel, let alone to drill a platoon or stand a duty watch. 
In the latter part of 1966, the Marine Corps was quer- 
ied on the prospect of establishing a new billet in the 
office of a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. 
Colonel Bishop's comment was: 

As desirable as these billets may be as "window dressing" 
for the Marine Corps, they have long been wasteful of the 
most capable and best appearing Women Marines. The work 
entailed in receptionists' billets offer no challenge to the 
caliber of women assigned to them. Each time a replace- 
ment is needed unreasonable selectivity requires a long pa- 
rade of nominees to be submitted for the personal inspection 
of the office concerned. It is considered that the Marine Corps 
already had an undesirable monopoly on receptionist billets 
in the various Navy Secretary's Offices. It is recommended 
that the ' invitation to establish yet another billet be 
declined. 39 

Overall, the plusses outweighed the minuses in the 
training and assignment of enlisted women in the years 
following the Pepper Board. In 1972, Colonel Sustad, 
as Director of Women Marines, reported to Congress 
that women could serve in 23 occupational fields; serv- 
ice in two of them, motor transport and band, was 
restricted to time of war. Women Marines were, in 
1972, as a matter of law and of Marine Corps policy, 
prohibited from the following 12 fields: infantry; field 
artillery; utilities; construction equipment and shore 
party; tank and amphibian tractor; ammunition and 
explosive ordnance disposal; supply services; nuclear, 
biological, and chemical warfare; military police and 
corrections; electronics maintenance; aviation ord- 
nance; and air delivery. Colonel Sustad went on to ex- 
plain that: 



Marine Corps policy on the utilization of women permits 
wide flexibility and interchangabiiity with male Marines. 
While 100 percent workability of this policy cannot be at- 
tained because of such factors as billeting, physical limita- 
tions, rotation base, or combat capability, it is recognized 
that basically a Woman Marine is qualified to serve in any 
location or in any billet if she possesses an appropriate and 
required skill. 40 

At the time of her statement before Congress, enlist- 
ed women were actually assigned in 21 occupational 
fields with 34 percent in administration, 12 percent 
in supply, and 5 percent in operational com- 
munications, the three fields of greatest WM con- 
centration. 

New Woman Marine Units, Stateside 

Coupled with new job opportunities came new ge- 
ographic assignments. In Director of Women Marines 
Study 1-64, Colonel Bishop recommended the open- 
ing of woman Marine companies at bases with a 
mobilization requirement for women Marines, specif- 
ically, the Marine Corps Supply Centers at Barstow and 
Albany. The Pepper Board reaffirmed the idea and 
expanded it to include the Air Station at Kaneohe, 
Hawaii. Additionally, it recommended that women 
staff noncommissioned officers be assigned to Marine 
Corps Base, Twentynine Palms; Marine Corps Air Sta- 
tions at Yuma and Beaufort; the Marine Corps Air Fa- 
cilities at New River and Santa Ana; and, finally, it 
proposed that WM sergeants and above, be assigned 
to appropriate billets with the support and adminis- 
trative sections of the various Marine barracks 
overseas. 41 

Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow 

On 13 January 1966, Prospector, the Barstow post 
newspaper, announced the arrival of the first woman 
Marine to report for duty at the Supply Center since 
1946. Captain Vea J. Smith was named supply opera- 
tions officer in Services Division. She became the ex- 
pert in residence in the planning for a company of 100 
women Marines due to be established when billeting 
arrangements were completed. The following month, 
First Lieutenant Wanda Raye Silvey assumed duties as 
disbursing officer in the Comptroller Division. 42 

Gunnery Sergeants Virginia Almonte and Lea E. 
Wood worth arrived in June 1966, both assigned to the 
Center's Adjutant office 43 First Lieutenant Rebecca M. 
Kraft, slated to be the first WM company commander 
at Barstow, joined them a year later on 25 June 1967 44 

And so, the first WM Company in the 2 5 -year his- 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



79 



tory of the Supply Center was activated on 1 July 1967. 
It was also the first new WM unit to be established 
in 13 years and brought to 11 the number of major 
Marine Corps commands with women's organizations. 
The first contingent of WMs, Lance Corporals Suzanne 
Bryant, Sheryl L. Moore, and Christina M. Christopher, 
arrived on 17 July and were greeted by First Lieutenant 
Kraft and the company first sergeant, Gunnery Ser- 
geant Woodworth. Building 182 had been complete- 
ly renovated and outfitted with new furniture. 45 

The company at Barstow was short-lived, being 
deactivated in August 1971 and designated as a pla- 
toon of Headquarters Company, Headquarters and 
Service Battalion. The senior WM on board was there- 
after assigned additional duty as woman Marine ad- 
visor on the commanding general's special staff. From 
1967 to 1971, seven officers served as WM company 
commanders at Barstow: First Lieutenant Rebecca M. 
Kraft, Captain Joan M. Hammond, First Lieutenant 
Diane L. Hamel, Captain Alice K. Kurashige, First 
Lieutenant Geraldine E. Peeler, Captain Vanda K. 
Brame* and First Lieutenant Linda J. Lenhart. 46 

Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany 

Similar activity was taking place at Albany, Geor- 
gia. Private First Class Donna L. Albert, on 4 Febru- 
ary 1966, was the first WM to report to that post for 
duty. Her assignment, making a departure from the 
custom of only stationing lower ranked women at lo- 
cations with a WM unit was permitted because she 
was able to maintain a household with her husband, 
Private First Class Dennis M. Albert. 47 

Second Lieutenant Emma G. Ramsey, formerly en- 
listed, arrived on 29 July 1966, the first WM officer 
to serve at the center. She was followed shortly there- 
after by Master Sergeant Rita M. Walsh, making a to- 
tal of three. 

Second Lieutenant Ramsey, officer in charge of the 
manpower utilization unit, found herself undertaking 
the additional duty of commanding officer of the WM 
company then being formed. Working with Master 
Sergeant Walsh, she began the task of planning and 
preparing for a full-strength company. Barracks were 
remodeled, administrative support was arranged, and 
directives were drafted. 48 

Apart from Second Lieutenant Ramsey and Master 
Sergeant Walsh, the initial company members arriv- 



*Captain Brame was one of four women Marines to receive the 
Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism. See Chapter 15 for 
details. 



ing in August 1967 were: Master Sergeant Bernice P. 
Querry, the new first sergeant; Corporals Margaret G. 
Wegener and Barbara A. Zimmer; Lance Corporals 
Doris H. Pallant, Carrie M. Saxon, Marjorie W. 
Groht, Donna L. Correll, Cheryl L. Larison, Robin 
M. Holloway, Virginia Gonzales, Cathy L. Pierce, Bar- 
bara L. Bradek, and Rosemary Lamont; Privates First 
Class Kathleen A. Kisczik, Daryl R. Cessna, Linda A. 
Dewaele, and Gertrude Martin. Captain Sara R. 
Beauchamp arrived in September and was named the 
new commanding officer. 49 

At the formal activation ceremonies on 13 Septem- 
ber 1967, Sergeant Major of the Woman Marines Oui- 
da W. Craddock unveiled a cornerstone plaque on the 
Woman Marine Barracks. Colonel Bishop and Cap- 
tain Beauchamp assisted Albany's mayor, the Honora- 
ble James V. Davis, with the ribbon-cutting at 
Barracks 7103. 50 But, like the company at Barstow, 
the WM Company, Albany, enjoyed but a brief exis- 
tence. It was deactivated on 1 November 1972 and 
the women became a platoon of Service Company, 
Headquarters and Service Battalion. 51 

Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe 

The Pepper Board had recommended reactivation 
of a WM unit at the Marine Corps Air Station at 
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Approval was initially defer- 
red mainly because WM strength could not support 
establishment of this unit as well as new units at Bar- 
stow and Albany. Under the new policy permitting 
the assignment of women on an individual basis to 
commands where no WM unit or housing existed, two 
officers, Captain Manuela Hernandez and First Lieu- 
tenant Diane Leppaluoto were ordered to Kaneohe 
early in 1966. By the end of the year, the decision 
was made to activate a company of 100 enlisted wom- 
en and two officers. Alterations began on a barracks 
and the company was formed in December 1967. 52 

Women Marines Overseas 

In July 1966 a decision was made to assign women 
Marines to the western Pacific area. The purpose was 
twofold: to free as many male Marines as possible for 
duty with committed Fleet Marine Force units and to 
provide WMs with additional career incentives. Plans 
were made to send women to Camp Butler on Okina- 
wa; the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni, Japan; 
and Headquarters, United States Military Assistance 
Command at Saigon, Vietnam. Each command was 
queried on the number of billets suitable for WMs 
and billeting space available. 



80 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




IstLt Anne Tallman (center), officer-in- charge of the 
first woman Marine contingent to arrive on Okina- 
wa, stops to confer with members of her group upon 
arrival at Kadena Air Base in November 1966. 

Women were asked to volunteer for the 13-month 
tour and had to be recommended by their comman- 
ding officers. Those with less than 13 months to serve 
were required to extend or reenlist to cover the tour 
length. Opportunities for enlisted women, private 
through gunnery sergeant, were greatest for those in 
administration, logistics, operational communications, 
telecommunications maintenance, supply, disbursing, 
data processing, informational services, photography, 
weather service, air traffic control, and aviation oper- 
ations. Officers, warrant through major, were eligi- 
ble for assignment to the Far East and were especially 
needed in administration, communications, supply, 
disbursing, and legal services. WMs were ordered to 
the Pacific area in increments to avoid a 100 percent 
turnover at the end of 13 months, 53 

Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni 

There was very little resistance to the idea of assign- 
ing WMs to Vietnam. The enthusiasm on Okinawa 
was somewhat less. There was outright opposition to 
the proposal at the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwaku- 
ni, Japan. The Commanding General, Fleet Marine 
Force, Pacific, Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, 
had doubts about the plan based on the inadequacy 
of appropriate on-base recreational facilities and a lack 
of suitable off-base liberty areas. Colonel Bishop, 
when asked by the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Gener- 
al Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. , to comment on the sub- 
ject, wrote: 



Verbal and written objections expressed to date concern- 
ing the assignment of enlisted women to Iwakuni imply 
either that the prime consideration is the women's enjoy- 
ment of their tour or that their presence constitutes a seri- 
ous threat to the good order and discipline of their masculine 
associates. 54 

She advocated the weighing of adequate liberty fa- 
cilities against the chance for the women to make 
meaningful contributions to Marine Corps personnel 
needs under conditions of minor personal hardship, 
and continued, "This response was not beyond their 
capabilities in the past," 55 Taking up the matter of 
the female presence, she added: 

Presumably, the local command has been able to main- 
tain sufficient disciplinary control over the masculine ele- 
ment to avoid undue unpleasantness for Navy Nurses, 
dependents of the other services, and civilian school teachers 
aboard the base. 

The most telling argument against the assignment of 
women to Iwakuni is not their ability to adjust to unusual 
or difficult circumstances but the negative attitude expressed 
at all levels of command in WestPac toward their presence 
at Iwakuni. This attitude is hardly conducive to their wel- 
come reception and normal uneventful adjustment. 56 * 

Colonel Bishop and the Sergeant Major of Wom- 
en Marines, First Sergeant Evelyn E, Albert, made a 
trip to WestPac to confer with the commands and to 
inspect the available barracks. At Iwakuni all the brief- 
ings were designed to discourage the plan. In response 
to a question on the controversy, the former director 
wrote in a letter to the History and Museums Divi- 
sion in 1977: 

Controversial is an understatement of the assignment of 
women to the Far East— particularly to Japan. Okinawa was 
no great problem — nor Vietnam, but the CO of the Air Sta- 
tion in Japan was unbelievable in his efforts to prevent this 
"catastrophe." (He made my trip interesting tho by having 
me dragged through an assortment of bars and what not 
as an indoctrination to the horrors of the Far East. I still 
have a fan presented to me by an aging proprietress of one 
of those establishments to show she bore no ill will to the 
women.) 57 



*"Interestingly, the senior Navy nurse [when queried by Gener- 
al Greene during a visit to Iwakuni] adamantly opposed the as- 
signment of women Marines to the station without being able to 
justify her opposition! 

"This observation also applied to the CO of the Air Station! Bas- 
ed on an on-the-spot analysis it quickly became evident that WMs 
should be assigned to the station and I left determined to see this 
done, even if it became necessary to relieve the CO — a prospect 
which I communicated to him before my departure!" (Gen Wal- 
lace M. Greene, Jr., comments on draft manuscript, dtd 26Dec79) 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



81 



Captain Marilyn E. Wallace became the first 
woman Marine to serve in the Far East, reporting to 
the Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni on 15 October 

1966. Assigned as station disbursing officer, she was 
billeted in a BOQ housing Navy nurses. 58 Five months 
later, on 23 March 1967, the arrival of the first enlist- 
ed women Marines raised the air station distaff 
strength to seven. The WMs, Gunnery Sergeant 
Frances J. Fisher, Staff Sergeants Carmen Adams and 
Mary L. McLain, and Sergeants Elva M. Pounders, 
Patricia Malnar, and Donna K. Duncan were accom- 
panied on the last leg of their journey from Okinawa 
to Japan by Major Jane L. Wallis, senior WM in the 
Far East. 59 

At Iwakuni, Colonel William M. Lundin, station 
commanding officer; Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. 
Taylor, station executive officer; Sergeant Major J. F. 
Moore, station sergeant major; and First Sergeant K. 
L. Ford of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron 
were on hand to greet the women Marines and to take 
them to lunch. They were taken on a tour of the sta- 
tion ending with a welcome aboard gathering where 
they met the officers for whom they would work. Staff 
Sergeant Adams wrote to the Director of Woman Ma- 
rines, "These Marines over here just can't seem to do 
enough for us." 60 The WMs received thorough brief- 
ings on customs, laws, and Japanese religions. Inter- 
views were arranged with the Japanese press explaining 
the work of the women Marines to dispel any notions 
that they were taking jobs away from Japanese 
women. 61 

The welcome accorded the WMs at Iwakuni in 

1967, in the wake of the bitter opposition voiced at 
the prospect of their assignment, was not unlike the 
reception given the first Regulars in 1948. Once the 
decision was final and the presence of women Marines 
was a fait accompli, Marines, with few exceptions, ac- 
cepted the situation with good grace. 

Marine Corps Air Station, 
Futema, Okinawa 

Within days of Captain Wallace's arrival at Iwaku- 
ni in October 1966, First Lieutenant Anne S. Tallman 
and nine enlisted WMs reported to Travis Air Force 
Base, California, for transportation to Okinawa. 62 Ar- 
riving at Kadena Air Force Base not far from Futema 
on Saturday, 22 October, they were greeted by Major 
John D. Way, administrative officer; Captain George 
A. Kinser, personnel officer; and Sergeant Major John 
W. Arnby, the facility sergeant major. Included in the 
first group were Sergeant Carol A. Kindig; Corporals 



Joan A. Carey, San Crosby, Patricia Hurlburt, Elizabeth 
Turner, and Ronelle Wuerch; and Lance Corporals 
Maryann Burger, Suzanne Davis, and Diana Savage. 
First Lieutenant Tallman took up the duties of 
informational officer and the enlisted women were as- 
signed to operations, disbursing, supply, weather serv- 
ice, and communications. 63 

The women Marines were attached to Headquarters 
and Headquarters Squadron. The senior WM officer 
functioned as the WM liaison to the commanding 
officer of the Marine Corps Air Facility. When more 
officers arrived, the senior woman officer became, as 
an additional duty, the officer in charge of the WMs. 
She reported to the commanding officer of the 
squardon and helped him with duty assignments, in- 
spections, and matters related to the distaff Marines. 
The officers and staff noncommissioned officers (due 
to a lack of adequate space) lived in BOQ 217. The 
enlisted women lived in a small barracks, ideally situ- 
ated behind the post exchange, and next to the swim- 
ming pool, theater, and gymnasium. 64 

Marine Corps Base, 
Camp Butler, Okinawa 

The renovation of a barracks at Camp Smedley D. 

BGen Ronald R. Van Stockum, assisted by Maj Jane 
L. Wallis, WM Company commander, Camp Butler, 
Okinawa cuts the birthday cake in November 1967. 




A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Between 1967 and 1973, 36 women Marines served in South Vietnam. Capt Elaine E. 
Filkins (left) and Sgt Doris Denton (right) tour Saigon in a cyclo on a rare afternoon off 



Butler delayed the arrival of WMs for a few months. 
The first aboard were Major Jane L. Wallis and Second 
Lieutenant Doris M, Keeler, reporting in on 10 De- 
cember 1966, Major Wallis, assistant base adjutant, 
was in addition officer in charge of the women Ma- 
rines, Second Lieutenant Keeler, formerly enlisted, was 
assigned as communications officer. 65 

On Monday, 16 January 1967, a contingent of 18 
enlisted WMs arrived on Okinawa for assignment to 
Camp Butler and Futema. On hand to meet the ar- 
rivals were Brigadier General Ronald R, Van Stock- 
um, Commanding General, FMFPac (Forward); 
Colonel Robert B, Laing, Sr., Futema Marine Corps 
Air Facility commander; Colonel James A, Gallo, Jr., 
Camp Butler executive officer; and Major Wallis, the 
senior woman Marine on the island. The 9th Marine 
Amphibious Brigade Band from Camp Hansen 
serenaded the women during the welcoming ceremo- 
ny. The first enlisted women to be assigned at Camp 
Butler were Staff Sergeant Helen A, Dowd; Corporals 



Kathleen Wright,* Sharon Lynn Bowe, Suzanne T. 
Guyman, Susan W. Blair, and Mary J. Andlott; and 
Lance Corporals Linda C. (nee Jaquet) Beck, Virginia 
Emaline Baker, and Brenda Ray Brown. 66 

At work in the adjutant's office, Major Wallis saw 
much of the correspondence dealing with the op- 
position of the command toward the assignment of 
WMs to Okinawa. Yet, the welcome the women 
received was characteristically cordial. Major Wallis be- 
lieves the Marines were sincere as they performed small 
acts of courtesy and consideration beyond the routine. 
As an example, at the time it was unofficially accept- 
ed that the men of each unit had their own table at 
the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Club, leaving the 
women SNCOs with literally no place to sit except the 



*Sergeant Wright became the first Camp Butler woman Marine 
to receive a Certificate of Commendation for outstanding perfor- 
mance of duty. The certificate was presented by Major General John 
G. Bouker in February 1968, 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



83 



bar. When Master Sergeant Sarah N. Thornton arrived, 
men from several of the units invited her to join their 
group whenever she came to the club. The WMs fur- 
ther found that once on the job, they soon became 
indispensable. Their work sections did not easily 
release women on Saturdays or Mondays, making 
weekend liberty trips difficult. 67 It was a bittersweet 
compliment. 

Women Marines on Okinawa had a uniform pro- 
blem since they wore the two-piece summer cord dress 
all year and it was often quite cold. The raincoat did 
not provide a satisfactory answer as it was too hot and 
sticky in the humid weather. Major Wallis and Second 
Lieutenant Keeler designed a green, V-necked cardi- 
gan sweater that fit under the lapels of the uniform. 
The small standard green buttons normally worn on 
the epaulets of the summer uniform were used on the 
non-regulation sweater. It cost about $15 to have one 
custom made, and Colonel Bishop gave permission to 
wear it on Okinawa only. 68 

WMs stationed at Camp Butler and Futema joined 
together to celebrate Christmas in Japan in 1967. 
Major Wallis and one enlisted woman flew to Camp 
Fuji to check the facilities. The question was, "Could 
17 women live in one hootch (quonset hut) with only 
one shower?" They decided they certainly could 
manage for 72 hours. Marines moved out, doubled up, 
and turned over their hootch to the WMs. The medi- 
cal dispensary was made into quarters for the women 
officers and staff noncommissioned officers. In all, 25 
WMs spent the holidays at the Camp Fuji Range Com- 
pany. Time was spent climbing the slopes of Mt. Fuji, 
skiing, and ice skating, but the highlight of the trip 
was a Christmas Eve party at the Seibi Yamanaka Or- 
phanage. The Marines, men and women, arrived laden 
with pots of spaghetti and meatballs, orange soda, 
chocolate cake, and gaily wrapped presents for the 51 
orphan boys. After the party the group returned to 
Camp Fuji to carol and to decorate the trees in the 
mess hall and the clubs. Late in the afternoon of 
Christmas Day, the Marines enjoyed a family-style 
traditional Christmas dinner. 69 

February 1968 marked the 25 th anniversary of the 
women Marines and Major Wallis' tour was extended 
to complete plans for a special celebration. It was 
planned to have WMs from all WestPac commands 
attend, and a search was made to find as many form- 
er WMs as possible from among the dependents. At 
the last moment, the WMs from Vietnam could not 
leave the country due to the Tet offensive of 1968. 



Women Marines from Camp Butler, Futema, and 
Iwakuni gathered at Kadena's Airmen's Open Mess 
along with their guests. The traditional cake was cut 
by Major General John G. Bouker, who presented the 
first piece to Master Sergeant Thornton, oldest WM 
at the party, and the second to Lance Corporal 
Maureen McGauren, the youngest. 70 

Women Marines in Vietnam 

Companion to greater opportunity is greater respon- 
sibility and for women in the Marine Corps in the 
1960s that meant service in the war- torn Republic of 
Vietnam. The announcement was made and plans 
were set in 1967 for one officer and nine enlisted wom- 
en to fill desk billets with the Military Assistance Com- 
mand, Vietnam (MACV), based in Saigon. Generally, 
they were to work with the Marine Corps Personnel 
Section on the staff of the Commander, Naval Forces, 
Vietnam. The section provided administrative support 
to Marines assigned as far north as the Demilitarized 
Zone (DMZ). Later, another officer billet was added 
and Lieutenant Colonels Ruth J. O'Holleran and Ruth 
F. Reinholz eventurally served as historians with the 
Military History Branch, Secretary Joint Staff, MACV. 

Care was taken to select mature, stable WMs who 
could be expected to adapt to strange surroundings 
and cope in an emergency. Interested women Marines 
were asked to volunteer by notifying their command- 
ing officer or by indicating their desire to serve in Viet- 
nam on their fitness reports. There was no shortage 
of volunteers, but not all met the criteria. Then there 
was a number of women who would willingly accept, 
but not volunteer for orders to a combat zone. Theo- 
retically, all WMs who served in Vietnam were volun- 
teers in that nearly all had expressed their willingness 
to go and none objected. 71 When Master Sergeant 
Bridget V Connolly was asked what made her volun- 
teer for duty in Saigon, she laughed and said, "Who 
volunteered? I received my orders in the guard mail." 
She became a legitimate volunteer when her initial 
tour ended and she extended for an additional six 
months. 72 

The first woman Marine to report to Vietnam for 
duty was Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky, who 
arrived on 18 March 1967. After an 18-hour flight, she 
landed at dusk at Bien Hoa, about 30 miles north of 
Saigon. Travel was restricted after dark on the unse- 
cure roads, so she was billeted overnight at the air- 
field. The next morning she was taken by bus and 
armed escort to Koeppler Compound in Saigon and 



84 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



there her tour began with a security lecture. The brief- 
ing was not concerned with security of classified 
material as one might expect, but with security in day- 
to-day living in Vietnam, such as recognizing booby 
traps, and checking cabs upon entering to ensure there 
was a handle inside. Arrival procedures were similar 
for most WMs, 73 

At first, the enlisted women were quartered in the 
Ambassador Hotel, and later they moved to the Pla- 
za, a hotel-dormitory, two to a room. Women of other 
services and several hundred men called the Plaza 
home. By spring 1968, the enlisted women were moved 
to the Billings Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), lo- 
cated near MACV Headquarters and Tan Son Nhut 
Airbase, 

Generally, the women officers were billeted in Le 
Qui Don, a hotel-like Bachelor Officers Quarters 
(BOQ). Company grade officers were usually assign- 
ed two to a room; WMs and WAVES billeted together. 



Like the Plaza and Billings BEQ Le Qui Don Hotel 
was air conditioned, but electricity was a sometime 
thing. 

There were no eating facilities in either the Billings 
BEQ or the Le Qui Don BOQ. Most of the women 
cooked in their room on hot plates or with electric 
skillets. When the power was out, they managed with 
charcoal-grilled meals served by candlelight. 74 

There were no laundry facilities, but for about $15 
a month, each woman hired a maid who cleaned her 
room, and washed and pressed her uniforms. Before 
leaving the United States the women Marines were 
cautioned to bring an ample supply of nylons, sturdy 
cotton lingerie, and summer uniforms. Not only were 
these items scarce in the post exchange that catered 
to male troops, but the maids were unduly hard on 
them. Lieutenant Colonel Elaine E, Filkins (later Da- 
vies) spoke of looking out her window to see the maid 
laundering her nylon stockings and lingerie in a creek 



SSgt Ermelinda Sa/azar, nominated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary for the 
1970 Unsung Heroine Award, recognizing her assistance to children of the St. Vincent 
De Paul Orphanage, Saigon, is the subject of this painting by artist Cliff Young. 




UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



85 



by pounding them with rocks. The garments that sur- 
vived were a mass of torn, short elastic threads. Gir- 
dles and bras were short-lived "in the combat zone." 75 
Nylon hosiery was a luxury. Women of some ser- 
vices were even excused from wearing them when in 
uniform, a privilege not extended to women Marines. 
Vietnamese women were fascinated by the sheer stock- 
ings and Lieutenant Colonel Vera M. Jones told of 
walking down the streets of Saigon and being startled 
by the touch of a Vietnamese woman feeling her stock- 
ings. 76 

The women were advised to arrive with four to six 
pairs of dress pumps for uniform wear because the 
streets were hard on shoes and repair service was un- 
satisfactory. In the "Information on Saigon" booklet 
provided each woman before leaving the United States 
was written, ". . . bring a dozen sets of heel 
lifts. . . . Heels can easily be extracted with a pair of 
pliers and new ones inserted with little difficulty." 77 

For the most part the WMs worked in Saigon, but 
on occasion duty took them outside the city. In Janu- 
ary 1969, Captain Filkins, in a letter to the Director 
of Women Marines, wrote: 

In early December, Corporal Spaatz and I traveled to Da 
Nang with nearly 100 SRB/OQRs [service record books/of- 
ficer qualification records] to conduct an audit of the ser- 
vice records of the men stationed in the north. The Army 
I Corps had been most kind in aiding us in our efforts to 
provide administrative assistance to our widely scattered men. 
Corporal Spaatz is a fine representative for the WMs with 
her professional handling of the audit. It was obvious that 
the men enjoyed the unfamiliar click of the female high 
heeled shoes. The weather was on our side so we were able 
to wear the dress with pumps the entire visit. 78 

When the weather was unusually wet or when the 
city was under attack, the women wore utilities and 
oxfords. In addition the Army issued field uniforms 
and combat boots to any woman required to wear 
them for duty. 

The Tet offensive of January-February 1968, a large- 
scale enemy attack that disrupted the city, brought 
some changes to the lives of WMs in Saigon. At the 
time enlisted women were still quartered at the Plaza 
which received automatic weapons fire. Bus service to 
many of the BOQs and BEQs was cut off, confining 
the women to their quarters. 

Captain Jones was unable to leave the Le Qui Don 
for a day and a half before bus service, with armed 
escorts, resumed. Excerpts of a letter from Captain 
Jones to Colonel Bishop told something of the 
situation: 



3 February 1968. It's hard to believe that a war is going 
on around me. I sit here calmly typing this letter and yet 
can get up, walk to a window, and watch the helicopters mak- 
ing machine gun and rocket strikes in the area of the golf 
course which is about three blocks away. At night, I lie in 
bed and listen to the mortar rounds going off. The streets, 
which are normally crowded with traffic, are virtually bare 
.... MSgt Dulinsky, Cpl Hensley, and Cpl Wilson finally 
got into work this afternoon. Cpls Hensley and Wilson plan 
to spend the night. 79 

Excerpts from a letter from Master Sergeant 
Dulinsky elaborated: 

9 February 1968. We are still on a 24-hour curfew, with 
all hands in utilities .... MACV personnel (women includ- 
ed) were bussed down to Koeppler compound and issued 
3 pair of jungle fatigues and a pair of jungle boots. 

Right now, most of us don't look the picture of "The New 
Image." Whew! Hardly! I can't determine at night, if I'm 
pooped from the work day or from carrying around these 
anvils tied to my feet called combat boots. 

Our Young-uns (and me too inside) were scared; but you'd 
have been proud of them. They turned to in the mess, 
cashiering, washing dishes, serving and clearing tables. 80 

Although the Tet offensive kept the women from 
attending the celebration of the silver anniversary of 
the women Marines in Okinawa, they were not without 
a celebration. Thanks to a WAVE and male Marines, 
they had a cake in the office and the traditional cake- 
cutting ceremony. 

The command expected each person to work 60 
productive hours a week. Time off was precious, and 
recreational facilities were limited. Bowling was a 
popular sport, and old American television shows were 
broadcast a few hours each evening. The city was often 
under curfew with the Americans back in their quart- 
ers by 2000 or 2200. Movies were available several 
nights a week in some of the BEQs and BOQs. A num- 
ber of the women kept busy during their off-duty 
hours by working at the Armed Forces Television Sta- 
tion, helping at various orphanages, and visiting Viet- 
namese families. Captain Jones, the only woman 
Marine who attended Vietnamese language school, 
taught English to a class of Vietnamese policemen. 

Captain Filkins, interested in an orphanage for 
blind girls, solicited soap, clothing, linens, toys, and 
supplies from the women Marine companies at home. 
In her letter she wrote, "They are rather confined in 
their small, dark world of the orphanage so they seem 
quite thrilled when visitors come to see them .... 
Many of these children are lucky if they are picked up 
and held for a few minutes each week. 81 



86 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

F?4 





Assigned to administrative duties in Saigon, GySgt Donna Hollowell Murray, shown here 
in Tank Anh, Vietnam, in 1970, gave time to work with children in outlying areas. 



One woman Marine in particular, Staff Sergeant Er- 
melinda Salazar (later Esquibel), who touched the lives 
of Vietnamese orphans, was nominated for the 1970 
Unsung Heroine Award sponsored by the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars Auxiliary, and was immortalized in a 
painting by Marine artist Cliff Young. During her 15 
months in Saigon, Staff Sergeant Salazar essentially 
took over a MACV civic action project involving the 
St. Vincent de Paul orphanage. 

In a letter dated 10 September 1969, to Gunnery 
Sergeant Helen A. Dowd, she told of her work with 
the children; 

I don't remember if I mentioned to you that I had been 
working with the orphanage supported by MACV. It is not 
a big one — only 75 children ages from a few weeks old to 
about 11 or 12 years of age. They are precious and quite lively. 
. . . This whole orphanage is taken care of by two CathoJic 
sisters. . . . One of them is rather advanced in age (about 
in her 60's) and the other is quite young and active. Still 
and all, Gunny, these two souls work themselves to death. 
. . . The two sisters are Vietnamese who speak no English 



at all. . . . And me? I know a limited number of broken 
phrases and words in Vietnamese. . . . 

Since I've been working at the orphanage, I've had to over- 
come much repugnance. There's a lot of sickness and dis- 
ease here in Vietnam. ... So when I say the orphanage it 
doesn't have the same connotation that it does back in the 
states where the children are well fed . . . and healthy for 
at least they have medical facilities and medicines availa- 
ble. These children have nothing! If the WM company is 
wondering about any projects for Christmas here is some- 
thing you can think about. Anything and everything is 
needed. 82 

Determined that these children would have a par- 
ty, Staff Sergeant Salazar personally contacted Marine 
units for contributions, arranged a site and bus trans- 
portation, enlisted interested people to help, and 
wrapped individual gifts for each child. Her interest 
continued after the holidays and in spite of 11-hour 
workdays, six days a week, she was able to influence 
other Marines to follow her lead in working at the or- 
phanage. Nominating her for the Unsung Heroine 
Award, her commanding officer wrote: "Her unusual 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 1964-1972 



87 



and untiring efforts to assist these otherwise forgot- 
ten children reflect great credit upon herself, the Unit- 
ed States Marine Corps, this command, and the 
United States." 83 

Staff Sergeant Salazar was awarded the Joint Ser- 
vice Commendation Medal for meritorious achieve- 
ment in the performance of her duties during the 
period 10 October 1969 to 10 January 1970 while serv- 
ing with the Military History Branch, Secretary Joint 
Staff, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. 
In addition, the Republic of Vietnam awarded her the 
Vietnamese Service Medal for her work with the 
orphans. 

Women Marines in Vietnam normally numbered 
eight or 10 enlisted women and one or two officers 
at any one time for a total of about 28 enlisted wom- 
en and eight officers between 1967 and 1973. Their 
letters and interviews reveal their apprehension before 
arriving in Saigon, their satisfaction with their tour, 
and their increased sense of being a Marine. 



Women Marines in 
Marine Security Guard Battalion 

Traditionally, women Marines had not been assigned 
to the Marine Security Guard Battalion, commonly 
referred to as embassy duty. The primary mission of 
an embassy Marine is to safeguard classified material 
vital to the United States' interests and to protect 
American lives and property abroad. In 1967 the first 
two women officers joined the Marine Security Guard 
Battalion, not as guards, but as personnel officers. First 
Lieutenant Charlene M. Summers (later Itchkawich) 
served with Company C, Manila, Philippines, and 
Warrant Officer Mary E. Pease was assigned to Com- 
pany D, Panama Canal Zone. The following year, Cap- 
tain Gail M. Reals reported to Company B, Beirut, 
Lebanon. 84 

Women Marines Overseas — Summary 

Opportunities for women Marines to serve outside 
the continental United States had been extremely 



Sgt Doris Denton receives the Joint Service Commendation Medal from MajGen Richard 
F. Shaffer, USA, assistant chief of staff , J-5 , in Saigon, South Vietnam, on 5 March 1969- 




88 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



limited from World War II to 1966. Billets available 
in Europe never accommodated more than nine or 10 
women, officers and enlisted. Until October 1966, 
Hawaii was the only location in the Pacific at which 
WMs could serve. On 30 June 1966, 3.7 percent, or 
63 women Marines, 56 in Hawaii and seven at foreign 
locations, were serving outside the continental limits. 85 
On 30 June 1971, 9-3 percent, or 209 women were serv- 
ing in the following locations: 86 



MCAF, Futema, Okinawa 
MCB, Camp Butler, Okinawa 
MCAS, Iwakuni, Japan 
FMFPac, Camp Smith, Hawaii 
MCAS, Kaneohe, Hawaii 
AFSE, Naples, Italy 
EUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany 
MarDet, London, England 
MAS NATO Brussels, Belgium 
MACV, Saigon, Vietnam 
MarSecGdBn, Hong Kong 

TOTAL 



Officer 


Enlisted 


3 


20 


6 


37 


5 


34 


14 


59 


5 


9 


1 


1 


1 


3 





1 


1 





2 


6 


1 






39 



170 



The location of the billets and the numerical re- 
quirements change from time to time but the policy 
of expanded overseas assignments for women in the 
Marine Corps made during the years 1966-1972, fol- 
lowing the recommendations of the Pepper Board, has 
persisted. 

These years saw remarkable changes made in the 
utilization, training, and assignment of women Ma- 
rines and marked success in recruiting, officer procure- 
ment, and retention efforts. The Pepper Board 
reported its findings and recommendations to improve 
the effectiveness of women Marines in 1965 at a time 
when the war in Vietnam demanded maximum ef- 
fort and performance of each Marine. Many questioned 
the price tag that would accompany implementation 
of the study group's recommendations; others recog- 
nized the costliness of inadequately trained and dis- 
illusioned Marines. Largely due to the leadership and 
untiring efforts of the Commandant of the Marine 
Corps, General Greene; the chairman of the Woman 
Marine Program Study Group, Lieutenant General 
Pepper; and the Director of Women Marines, Colonel 
Bishop, notable progress was made and the status of 
women placed on a firmer footing than any time previ- 
ously in the history of the Corps. 



CHAPTER 7 

Utilization and Numbers: Snell Committee, 1973-1977 

Strength, 1973-1977 ' — New Occupational Fields — Military Police — Pre siding Judges — Breaking the Tradition 
Bandsmen— Women Marines in the Fleet Marine Force— Women in Command— 1973-1977 Summary 



There was, in the early 1970s, an increased aware- 
ness of the phenomenon called equal opportunity for 
women. 1 It permeated the family, the schoolroom, bus- 
iness, religion, and the military. In all fairness, laws, 
customs, and prejudices notwithstanding, a case can 
be made for the advantageous position of servicewom- 
en compared to women in education, business, and 
industry. There were, however, recognized shortcom- 
ings which had to be dealt with. The advent of the 
all-volunteer force and the national women's libera- 
tion movement were leading to increased use of wom- 
en in the military. On 1 September 1972, the Chief 
of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., 
recommended a plan tailored to meet a goal stated 
as "allowing women an equal opportunity to con- 
tribute their talents and to achieve full professional 
status in the Navy." 2 The Marine Corps had no such 
plan. 

One week later, the Secretary of Defense, Melvin 
R. Laird, directed the services to develop by 30 Novem- 
ber 1972 detailed equal opportunity/affirmative action 
plans for minorities and servicewomen. As a result, 
the Deputy Chief of Staff (Manpower) of the Marine 
Corps, Lieutenant General Ormond R. Simpson, pro- 
posed an ad hoc committee to be chaired by Colonel 
Albert W. Snell. The committee was tasked with de- 
veloping a plan of action, objectives, and milestones 
for a program to increase equal opportunity for wom- 
en Marines. 

The membership of Colonel Snell's committee 
varied from time to time but included representatives 
of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-l; Deputy Director 
of Personnel; Director Division of Reserve; and Direc- 
tor Women Marines. Included were Lieutenant 
Colonel Jenny Wrenn and Major Barbara E. Dolyak. 
At the initial, formal meetings, the committee estab- 
lished the goal to "increase the effectiveness and utili- 
zation for all women Marines to fully utilize their 
abilities in support of Marine Corps objectives." Five 
specific objectives identified to accomplish the goal 
were: 

a. To identify and eliminate all discrimination based solely 
on sex. 

b. To ensure to women Marines equal opportunity for as- 



signment to and within noncombat occupational fields. 

c. To provide the opportunity for women Marines to ob- 
tain technical and professional schooling at all levels. 

d. To provide equal opportunity to women Marines for 
progression and advancement through duty assignments. 

e. To ensure equal economic opportunity for women 
Marines. 3 

It happened that the Office of the Assistant Secre- 
tary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Cen- 
tral All -Volunteer Task Force on the Utilization of 
Military Women, headed by Colonel Helen A. Wil- 
son, USMCR, published a separate but related study 
in December 1972. This report specifically recom- 
mended that the Marine Corps: 

(1) Intensify its recruiting efforts for enlisted women. 

(2) Open additional job specialties to women. 

(3) Take action to reduce attrition rates to a level more 
comparable to that being experienced by the other services. 

(4) Advise . . . after six months the results achieved in 
(1), (2), and (3) above and how these results affect its FY 
1974 plans for female military strength in Marine Corps. 4 

A further consideration by the Snell Committee was 
the report of a task group chaired by the Judge Advo- 
cate General of the Navy to review the portion of Ti- 
tles 10 and 37 of the United States Code which 
differentiated between the treatment of men and 
women. 

Taking all into consideration, the Snell Committee 
identified 17 separate tasks needed to attain its ob- 
jectives. A background position paper containing the 
17 tasks was then staffed to appropriate Headquarters 
agencies for comment. Colonel Margaret A. Brewer was 
given the job of reviewing the comments, summariz- 
ing the recommendations, and making appropriate 
modifications. 

The recommendations that evolved included several 
concerning promotion boards that would require legis- 
lative action. Most, however, challenged the Marine 
Corps' policies and regulations that barred women 
from occupational fields or schools based solely on sex. 
The fields of logistics, military police and corrections, 
and aircraft maintenance, all closed to women, were 
singled out as possibilities for immediate action while 
all other noncombat fields would be studied to de- 
termine their appropriateness for women Marines. Two 

89 



90 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




LCplBrenda Hockenhull, in 1972 the first woman Ma- 
rine to graduate from the Test Instrument Course, Al- 
bany, Georgia, examines a piece of electronic 
equipment with fellow student, LCpl William Day. 

of the most unorthodox ideas presented were the plan 
that a pilot program be established to assign women 
to stateside Fleet Marine Forces and the recommen- 
dation that: 

. . . the prohibition in the Marine Corps Manual which 
limits women officers to succeeding to command only at 
those activities which have the administration of Women 
Marines as their primary function be eliminated. 5 

According to Lieutenant Colonel Barbara Dolyak, 
a member of the Snell Committee, it came as a sur- 
prise when the Commandant approved all recom- 
mendations on 14 November 1973- On the final page 
of the report, General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., 
penned, "O.K. — let's move out!" 6 

Strength, 1973-1977 

In April 1973 a goal was set of 3,100 women Ma- 
rines by 30 June 19777 This represented a 30 percent 
increase of women's strength and completely disregard- 
ed the traditional figure of one percent of total Ma- 
rine Corps enlisted strength. Subsequently, the target 
date was moved up to 1 January 1976. During the 
summer of 1976, the Commandant, General Louis H. 
Wilson, Jr., responding to requests from commanders 
for additional women, to the improved effectiveness 
of women in the Corps, and to the realities of the all- 
volunteer force, approved an additional increase in the 
size of the woman Marine force. 8 The change was 
planned to be implemented over a six-year period be- 
ginning 1 October 1976, with a recruiting goal for the 
year of 1,700 women or 164 over the current annual 



input. Beginning with fiscal year 1978, in October 
1977 the Corps aimed to recruit 2,500 women annu- 
ally. Then in March 1977, appearing before a House 
Armed Services subcommittee, General Wilson made 
the surprise announcement that the Marine Corps ex- 
pected to have 10,000 women in its ranks by 198 5. 9 
Incremental increases were planned based on logisti- 
cal limitations related to uniform supplies and billet- 
ing space rather than on need or availability of 
qualified applicants. In 1975 18 percent of all women 
who enlisted in the Marine Corps had attended col- 
lege and some had baccalaureate degrees. 10 In 1977, 
both recruiting and officer procurement quotas were 
easily met with many fine young women being turned 
away. On 30 June 1977, the strength of the active duty 
women Marines was 407 officers and 3,423 enlisted 
women for a total of 3,830. 

The reenlistment and retention rate for women im- 
proved to the point where in 1974, the rate of reten- 
tion for first-term WMs bettered that of male Marines, 
9-9 percent to 7.9 percent. In 1975, it was 10.4 per- 
cent for women compared to 7.9 percent for the total 
Marine Corps. 11 No one factor is responsible for the 
improved recruiting and retention of women. The in- 
dications point to a generation of women awakened 
to new horizons, improvements in the woman Marine 
program brought on by the Pepper Board and the 
Snell Committee, and the positive action taken by the 
Commandants to publicize to all Marines the role of 
women in the Marine Corps. 

New Occupational Fields 

The Snell Committee had recommended that the 
Marine Corps regulations and policies not governed 
by law be reviewed to revise or eliminate those which 
discriminated solely on the basis of sex without rational 
and valid reason, and that all noncombat MOSs be 
examined to determine which could be made availa- 
ble to women. Since a task analysis of all noncombat 
occupational fields was already underway at Head- 
quarters and would not be completed for several years, 
it was further recommended that certain fields be 
opened immediately as a sign of good faith. For 
officers, logistics, military police and corrections, and 
aircraft maintenance were suggested, and for enlisted 
women, the same three fields plus utilities and elec- 
tronics. Because of some disagreement and in view of 
the ongoing study of all noncombat MOSs, only logis- 
tics and military police and corrections were approved 
for officers and utilities and military police and cor- 
rections for enlisted women. 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 



91 



The final breakthrough, dropping all barriers ex- 
cept those grounded in law, was made on 15 July 1975 
when the Commandant, General Wilson, approved 
the assignment of women to all occupational fields 
except the four considered combat-related, infantry 
(03), artillery (08), armor (18), and flight crews (75). 
Management limitations, preservation of a rotation 
base for male Marines, equal opportunity regardless 
of sex for job assignments and promotions, need for 
adequate facilities and housing for WMs, and availa- 
bility of nondeployable billets, of necessity, affected 
the number of women assigned to some fields, but 
this was truly a decisive change. 12 

Military Police 

Records indicate that there were five women with 
a military police MOS in 1952 but a search of the 
records failed to reveal who they were or what duties 
they performed. It is likely that they were former WRs 
since the policy after 1948 had been not to assign wom- 
en to this field. 

The Corps' first known post-World War II military 
policewoman, in January 1974, was Lance Corporal 
Harriett F. Voisine, a WM who had a bachelor of 
science degree in criminology with a major in police 
science and administration. She had worked with the 
Police Department in Westminster, California, before 
enlisting in July 1971 and, after recruit training, served 
for two and one-half years in the Provost Marshal Of- 
fice at Parris Island. Taking courses on her own in 
juvenile delinquency; vice and narcotics; criminal law; 
and arrest, search, and seizure procedures, she was a 

Sgt Karen Cottingham, a trained telephone switch- 
board repairman, checks the level of battery acid in 
the standby power source, at the Marine Corps Base, 
Twentynine Palms, California, on 4 February 1977, 





PFC Regina T. Musser, first woman Marine tank 
mechanic, works on the optic unit of a tank turret 
while assigned to the Tracked Vehicle Maintenance 
Unit at Camp Pendleton, California, in 1974, 

natural candidate for the military police field when 
it was finally opened to women Marines 13 Lance Cor- 
poral Voisine, given on-the-job training by the recruit 
depot's MPs, was used on the desk, on traffic control 
details, and on motorized patrols. 

Two women Marines, Privates M. B. Ogborn and J. 
E. Welchel, were the first to attend the seven-week 
Military Police School at Fort Gordon, Georgia, gradu- 
ating in April 197 5. 14 Private Mary F. Bungcayo, who 
graduated from the same course the following month 
was assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry 
Point, for duty. In a 1977 interview, Corporal Bung- 
cayo stated that she met some male opposition at first, 
but no restrictions. She worked on the desk and on 
patrol; she responded to fires and flight emergencies; 
and she stood guard on the gate. Corporal Bungcayo, 
who joined the Marine Corps with the guarantee of 
military police work, believed that on the job she was 
given the same responsibilities as the male MPs. 15 

Second Lieutenant Debra J. Baughman, the first 
woman officer in the military police field, was assigned 
to the Provost Marshal Office at Camp Lejeune after 
graduation from the 35 th Woman Officer Basic Course 
in March 1975. She entered the field with a degree 
in corrections but no experience. At Camp Lejeune 
she was assigned as platoon leader for a platoon of MPs 
and in the opinion of Colonel Valeria F. Hilgart, the 
base G-l, "She did a topnotch job." 16 



92 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




IstLt DebraJ. Baughman, first woman officer in the military police field, inspects her 
platoon at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in the summer of 1975. 



The next two officers to enter the 5800 field, mili- 
tary police, were Second Lieutenants Mary A. Krusa 
and Judith A. Cataldo. Neither had any police ex- 
perience but both had majored in criminology and 
the police science field in college. In January 1976 all 
three attended the Military Police Officer Orientation 
Course at Jbrt McClell an, Alabama, to obtain formally 
the 5803 MOS. After graduation in February 1976, 
Second Lieutenant Krusa reported to El Toro as the 
assistant operations officer for the Provost Marshal 
Office and Second Lieutenant Cataldo reported to 
Cherry Point for assignment as the officer in charge 
of the Traffic Investigation, Traffic Control, and Pass 
and Identification Section. Second Lieutenant Baugh- 
man returned to Camp Lejeune. Each of the three 
officers had received more extensive training in their 
MOS to include attendance at Northwestern Univer- 
sity's Traffic Institute at Evanston, Illinois. 17 



On the subject of police work for women, Second 
Lieutenant Cataldo, in March 1977, wrote: 

Speaking for myself, I love the field. It is a constantly 
changing challenge. Twenty-five male MPs work for me and 
I am given a great deal of responsibility. I feel that after the 
initial testing and proving period I have been fully accept- 
ed. I would recommend the field to other women trained 
in it as it is still growing and developing professionally. 
... It frequently demands 24 hour duty (PMO duty officer) 
five days per month and proficiency with various weapons. 
. . . For women interested in the police field it offers a great 
deal. 18 

Presiding Judges 

There were seldom more than one or two women 
Marine lawyers on active duty at one time, and it was 
news when in 1970, First Lieutenant Patricia Murphy 
was named a certified military judge. But in 1974, it 
was Captain Eileen M. Albertson, second woman to 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 



93 



be certified a military judge, who became the first to 
preside in a courtroom. A graduate of Bloomsburg 
State College and the Marshall Wythe School of Law 
at the College of William and Mary, she served in the 
Marine Corps Reserve for a six-year tour before going 
on active duty. She served nine months in Judge Ad- 
vocate General School for military lawyers at Charlot- 
tesville, Virginia; 14 months on Okinawa as prosecutor 
and foreign claims commissioner; and some months 
as defense counsel at Quantico. 19 

As a judge, Captain Albertson was praised by her 
colleague, Captain David A. Schneider, who said, "I 
would give her the highest compliment— I'd call her 
a professional. She shows that she is more interested 
in justice and fairness than formality or speed . . . ." 20 
Her former commanding officer, Colonel Joseph R. 
Motelewski, commented bluntly, "She is one of the 
finest lawyers I've ever worked with." 21 

In an effort to attract persons of needed skills, the 
Marine Corps inaugurated a program of direct Reserve 
commissions for those who met the criteria. Reserve 
Marine Major Sara J. Harper, a judge of the Municipal 
Court of Cleveland, Ohio, entered the Corps as a law- 
yer and served a number of tours on active duty over 
a four-year period. Then in 1977, she was appointed 
a military judge by General Louis H. Wilson, in 
ceremonies in his office. 22 

Breaking the Tradition 

Improved educational level of women recruits, a 
changed attitude of society toward the role of work- 
ing women, especially in technical and professional 
fields, and an openmindedness in the Corps brought 
on by the Pepper Board and fostered by the Snell 
Committee, and finally the Commandant's key deci- 
sion in July 1975, combined to increase the assign- 
ments of women to a greater variety of occupational 
fields. For example: 

In November 1973, Second Lieutenant Patricia M. 
Zaudtke was assigned as one of the first two WM mo- 
tor transport officers. 23 

In June 1974, Captain Shirley L. Bowen was the only 
woman and the first woman Marine to graduate from 
the 34-week Advanced Communication Officer 
Course. 24 

Private Mary P. McKeown made history at the Ar- 
my's Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen, 
Maryland, when she became the first WM to attend 
the Metal Body Repair Course. Her classroom in- 
struction included practical work in gas welding, ex- 
terior finishing of metal bodies, glass cutting, and 




Capt Eileen M. Albertson, first woman Marine mili- 
tary judge to preside in a courtroom, administered the 
foreign claims section and acted as trial counsel at the 
Camp Smedley D. Butler Law Center in 1972. 

instruction in inert gas metal welding techniques. 25 
First Lieutenant Dian S. George, in 1975, was the 
first woman Marine to be assigned to the inspector- 
instructor staff of an all-male Reserve unit, Head- 
quarters and Service Company, Supply Battalion, 4th 
Force Service Support Group, at Newport News, Vir- 
ginia. Previously she had served as the assistant SASSY 
officer at Cherry Point, North Carolina. SASSY is the 
acronym for Supported Activity Supply System, which 
was, at the time, a new computerized way of keeping 
track of all Marine Corps equipment. Thus it was not 
merely coincidental that First Lieutenant George 
found herself at the Newport News unit, the first 
Reserve company to have the SASSY system, one which 
tied into the computer at Camp Lejeune. During drill 
weekend she worked on the organization and super- 
vision of the training program which included com- 
puter programming and key punch operations skills. 
In addition she served as personnel, public relations, 
and recruiting officer on the staff headed by Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Robert J. Esposito. For the lieutenant, 
being in an all-male outfit was not entirely new since 
she had participated in the 1974 pilot program per- 
mitting women to serve in the Fleet Marine Forces. 26 
Private First Class Cathy E. Smith was the first wom- 
an Marine to attend the Water Supply and Plumbing 
Course at Camp Lejeune. The training which began 
on 14 July 1975 was concerned mainly with water 
purification, i.e., supplying fresh water to Marines in 
the field. 27 



94 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



On 28 January 1977, Sergeant Deborah A. Rubel, 
a mechanic in the fuel and electrical shop, Motor 
Transport and Maintenance Company, 2d Maintenance 
Battalion, Force Troops, 2d Force Service Support 
Group, was named Force Troops 2d FSSG Marine of 
the Quarter, high praise for a woman serving in the 
FMF in a nontraditional job. 28 

Second Lieutenant Jo Anne Kelly became, in Janu- 
ary 1977, the first of four women in her occupational 
field to qualify for the 7210 MOS, Air Defense Con- 
trol Officer. She finished initial training at Twenty- 
nine Palms in August 1976 and then reported to the 
Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, where she com- 
pleted the required number of live intercepts in tac- 
tical flight missions. 29 

On 9 January 1977, three WMs, Sergeants Connie 
Dehart and Cynthia Martin, and Corporal Geneva 
Jones, were reported to be the first women to earn their 
wings while serving as flight attendants on the C-9B 
Skytrain. After a two-week familiarization course at 
the McDonnell Douglas School, the women's duties 
included loading baggage and cargo, and serving 
meals. In an interview in March 1977, Sergeant Jones 
indicated that there was no resentment shown by male 
Marines with whom she worked, but at least one lieu- 
tenant colonel was uncomfortable about her work as 

Sgt J. S. Burke, a tractor-trailer driver with Base 
Material Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California, ad- 
justs the chains of her rig on 11 February 1977. 




he ordered her out of the cargo compartment and 
loaded his own baggage. 30 

Private First Class Pamela Loper, the first woman 
Marine to hold a tractor-trailer license at Camp Le- 
jeune since World War II, was described in April 1977 
by Lieutenant Colonel John F. Drummond, base mo- 
tor transport officer, as ". . . a much better driver than 
some of our experienced men." Private First Class Loper 
drove a large tractor- trailer rig, known as a "semi" or 
"18 wheeler." She obtained her license after passing 
tests on handling the vehicle and hooking up and un- 
hooking the trailer. 31 

Private First Class Katie Jones Dixon, Headquarters 
and Maintenance Squadron-32's first WM jet mechan- 
ic, worked on jet engines and components which 
MAG-32's squadrons sent to its power plant for repair. 
Extensive schooling prepared her to do the type of in- 
termediate maintenance that the squadrons were not 
authorized to perform 32 

Private First Class Gail Faith Morise, first enlisted 
woman to attend the 12 -week Automotive Mechanics 
School at Camp Lejeune, was also the first WM to be 
assigned to Cherry Point's Motor Transport Division. 33 

Bandsmen 

Well before the final verdict was in on opening new 
occupational fields to women, an old one became 
available once more. Until 1973, the musical MOS 
5500 was designated for wartime duty only. Women 
Marine bandsmen were a rare sight after the demobili- 
zation of Camp Lejeune's renowned MCWR band of 
World War II. In 1967, Colonel Bishop reported that 
Corporals Donna L. Correll and Marjorie W. Groht 
had joined the Marine Corps Supply Center band at 
Albany and played in ceremonies on 10 November. 34 
These two Marines, members of the first group of 
WMs to report to Albany, played the clarinet and 
trumpet and were believed to be the only women per- 
forming with a Marine band at the time. In 1969, 
Lance Corporal Judy A. Tiffany volunteered on a part- 
time basis as a cymbal player with the newly formed 
Drum and Bugle Team at the Marine Barracks, Treas- 
ure Island, California. And then, in 1971, five WMs, 
Corporals Sue Redding and Nancy Wright, Lance Cor- 
porals Sue Deleskiewicz and Joan Mahaffey, and Pri- 
vate First Class Martha Eveland became the first WM 
musical unit since World War II when they formed 
the WM Drum Section of Treasure Island's Drum and 
Bugle Team 35 

Private Jay C. Clark was assigned the 5500 MOS in 
February 1973 while in recruit training at Parris Island. 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 



95 




PFC Katie J. Dixon, H&MS-32 mechanic, safety wires 
the fuel control of an A-4 Sky hawk power plant in 
the squadron's powerplant section, Marine Corps Air 
Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, in 1977. 

She was assigned to the post band and later sent to 
Basic Music School in Little Creek, Virginia. Upon 
completion of the six-month course, she served in the 
bands in Hawaii and at the Recruit Depot at San Die- 
go, California. 

The famed U.S. Marine Band of Washington, D.C, 
however, remained an all-male bastion until 1973, 
when, due to a critical shortage of certain in- 
strumentalists, the band sought and received per- 
mission to enlist women. 36 Elizabeth A. Eitel, an oboist 
and University of Montana student, became, in April 
1973, the first woman to audition and to be accept- 
ed. Before she graduated and subsequently enlisted 
on 30 July, another young woman, Ruth S. Johnson, 
a University of Michigan graduate, joined the band 
on 16 May, becoming its first woman member. Like 
all members of the band, the women were appointed 
to the rank of staff sergeant and were not required 
to attend recruit training. Gunnery Sergeant Johnson, 
in 1977, was the Marine Band's principal French 
hornist. 37 

At first there were several conditions imposed by 
the band. The women, for example, were to wear the 
male bandsmen uniforms. Colonel Margaret A. Brew- 
er, Director of Women Marines, satisified that this new 



opportunity was available to women, prudently offered 
no opposition. It was soon obvious that the men's 
trousers were ill-fitting and difficult to tailor for the 
women, so new uniforms, following the traditional 
pattern but proportioned for the female figure, were 
designed. Eventually long skirts were added to the 
wardrobe. The WM hat posed some problems, espe- 
cially in wet weather as it required careful blocking 
to keep in shape. The band had a white vinyl model 
designed and asked Colonel Brewer for her opinion. 
With its gold emblem, red cap cord, and semi-shiny 
fabric, she found it unattractive at first, but agreed 
to a test period. The vinyl hat not only looked fine 
when worn during performances, but it solved the 
maintenance problem. Recognizing the practicality of 
a hat that can withstand rain and snow, the white vinyl 
was later copied for use by women MPs. 38 

By July 1977, the Marine Band counted in its ranks 
the following 10 women musicians: 39 

Gunnery Sergeant Gail A. Bowlin flute 

Gunnery Sergeant Elizabeth A. Eitel oboe 

Staff Sergeant Elnora Teopaco Figueroa violin 

Staff Sergeant Michelle Foley oboe 

Gunnery Sergeant Carol Hayes viola 

Gunnery Sergeant Ruth S. Johnson French horn 

Staff Sergeant Denna S. Purdie cello 

Staff Sergeant Linda D. Stolarchyk cello 

Staff Sergeant Vickie J. Yanics violin 

Staff Sergeant Dyane Wright bassoon 

Women Marines in the Fleet Marine Force 

The Snell Committee recommended that a pilot 
program be established to assign women to stateside 
division, wing, or force service regiment headquarters 
in noncombat rear echelon billets such as disbursing, 
data systems, administration, etc. General Cushman, 
Commandant of the Marine Corps, approved the con- 
cept on 14 November 1973. 40 In February 1974, a mes- 
sage was sent to FMF commanders notifying them of 
a yet-to-be published change in policy which would 
permit the assignment of women to FMF billets in- 
volving service support, aviation support, or commu- 
nication occupational specialties that would not 
require them to deploy with the assault echelon of the 
command if a contingency arose. The legal restrictions 
that women not be assigned duty in aircraft that are 
engaged in combat missions nor on vessels of the Navy 
other than hospital ships and transports were included. 

The 2d Marine Aircraft Wing and the 1st Marine 
Division were designated as the commands to par- 
ticipate in a six-month pilot program, and they were 



96 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




First woman Marine music unit since 1945 was the drum section of the Marine Barracks, 
Treasure Island Drum and Bugle Team, 1970-1971: (left to right) Cpls Sue Conley and 
Nancy Wright, LCpl Sue Deleskiewicz, FFC Martha Ev eland, and LCpl Joan Mahaffey. 



provided information on the grade and MOSs of the 
women selected for FMF assignments. The message 
stated, "These Marines will be joined on the rolls of, 
and administered by, the headquarters indicated. 
Their duties will be consistent with the requirement 
of the billet to which assigned." 41 This simple state- 
ment, referring to Marines without the usual modifi- 
er, women, bespoke an important change in attitude. 
As an adjunct to the pilot program, all FMF com- 
manders were asked to identify billets within their 
headquarters considered suitable for women Marines. 
Originally, 13 women were selected to take part in 
the experiment: seven to the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing 
and six to the 1st Marine Division. Actually, nine 
WMs, four officers and five enlisted women, were as- 
signed to the wing. They were: 

First Lieutenant Maralee J. Johnson 
First Lieutenant Dian S. George 
Second Lieutenant Vicki B. Taylor 
Second Lieutenant Margaret A. Humphrey 
Gunnery Sergeant Sharyl E. Sheftz 
Sergeant Charlene K. Wiese 



Corporal Pamela S. Scott 

Corporal Eva J. Lugo 

Lance Corporal Marsha A. Douglas 

In an interview published in the Windsock, the 
Cherry Point newspaper, in July 1974, Corporal Scott 
said, "At first I heard there might be some problems 
because men didn't want women in the Wing, but 
everyone here has been helpful, and I haven't had any 
problem at all." 42 Sergeant Wiese, accounting analyst 
with the comptroller section, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing 
said, "There was a lot of apprehension between my- 
self and the Marine I was working with, but it's gone 
now and things are great." 43 Others commented on 
the changes brought by being administratively at- 
tached to the wing rather than Woman Marine 
Detachment 2, a small unit where everyone knew 
everyone else. 

The six women assigned to the 1st Marine Division 
at Camp Pendleton were Captain Karyl L. Moesel, First 
Lieutenant Maria T. Hernandez, Second Lieutenant 
Mary S. Burns, Gunnery Sergeant Esther F. Peters, Ser- 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 



97 



geant Judith A. Alexander, and Sergeant Lynn J. 
Powell. 

At the end of the six-month experimental period, 
in November 1974, the Commanding General of the 
1st Marine Division, Brigadier General William L. 
McCulloch, reported that, ". . . the WMs have 
managed to assimilate necessary knowledge of FMF- 
peculiar systems to allow them to be assets to their 
respective sections" 44 and, he continued: 

It is this command's interpretation . . . that WMs assign- 
ed to FMF commands are deployable to advanced areas as 
long as they are not deployed with assault echelon . . . and 
are, therefore, not necessarily bound to rear echelon . . . 
billets .... This command enthusiastically supports assign- 
ments of WMs to CONUS FMF commands and foresees no 
insurmountable problems associated with program. Assign- 
ment of WMs would provide source of talent and critical 
skills and would ease skill shortages within the First 
MARDIV. 45 

The Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft 
Wing, Major General Ralph H. Spanjer, in his assess- 
ment of the pilot program, noted that the nine WMs 

GySgts Ruth Johnson (left) and Beth Eitel (right), first 
women members of the U. S. Marine Band, frequently 
performed with the Bands Woodwind Quintet. 




were rapidly assimilated into the wing staff, and no 
problems were observed in military courtesy, appear- 
ance, or bearing. The physical fitness testing had been 
conducted by the senior woman officer without 
difficulty and with notable success. He continued that 
the small number involved precluded any effect on 
deployment and during field exercises, the women Ma- 
rines had a positive effect on the headquarters by re- 
maining in garrison and continuing the daily 
administrative routine. Finally, he submitted: 

The pilot program of assigning Women Marines to 2d Ma- 
rine Aircraft Wing has thus far been successful in terms of 
orientation, capability, and performance. Realizing the prac- 
ticality of assigning Woman Marines to CONUS Fleet Ma- 
rine Force Commands, it is felt that the program should be 
continued. 49 

The commanding general of FMFPac, on the sub- 
ject of women in ConUS FMF commands, wrote: "This 
headquarters regards utilization of women Marines in 
FMF commands both feasible and desirable provid- 
ing such assignment does not adversely affect combat 
readiness. . . ." And he offered the recommendation 
that: 

. . . Marine Corps education and training programs be 
modified to: 

1. Increase emphasis on FMF-related instruction and train- 
ing for women Marines, to include extension school courses 
and, if possible additional quotas to intermediate and high 
level schools. 

2. Incorporate into Human Relations and Leadership train- 
ing consideration of the role of women Marines in the FMF. 47 

As part of the pilot program, the commanders of 
the division, aircraft wings, force troops, and force serv- 
ice regiments identified rear echelon billets totaling 
75 officer and 450 enlisted that could be filled by 
women without requiring them to deploy with the as- 
sault echelon. The billets included supply, disbursing, 
communications, intelligence, administration, data 
systems, and legal specialties. When new MOSs were 
opened to women by the 1975 decision, even more 
FMF billets were considered suitable for women 
Marines. 

Women in the 1st Marine Division were featured 
in an article published in the Los Angeles Times in 
September 1976. Among those mentioned were Se- 
cond Lieutenant Michele D. Venne, combat engineer 
officer, who was the first woman officer to attend Com- 
bat Engineer School and finished first in her class; 
Lance Corporal Victoria Carrillo, a plumber and water 
supplyman who, at the time, was the only woman 



98 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



water purification expert in the Marine Corps; Second 
Lieutenant Carol Sue Lamb, the only female motor 
transport officer in the FMF, who was serving as assis- 
tant division motor transport officer and later served 
as a division supply group platoon commander; Cor- 
poral Cynthia Robinson, an electrician, who performed 
duties such as pole line construction and the string- 
ing of power lines; Second Lieutenant Laura A. Hull, 
headquarters battalion adjutant; and Lance Corporal 
Kimberly Greene, only woman coxswain in the Ma- 
rine Corps. Lance Corporal Greene, who grew up on 
Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, practiced her 
seamanship in the Corps by handling a 58-foot land- 
ing craft which could carry up to 40 combat-loaded 
Marines for an assault on an enemy beach. 

There were at the time, 42 women in the 1st Ma- 
rine Division, and their commanding officer, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Robert D. White, confessed that while 
the obvious problems such as restroom facilities and 
billeting were nettlesome, they were not difficult. The 
women Marines lived in motel-like BEQs with their 
male colleagues, since it was thought that segregated 
barracks would run counter to unit integrity. 

The men found that women tend to keep their 
quarters better policed, but Colonel White soon 
learned that: 

. . . there is a greater sense of urgency from the women 
when equipment, such as washing machines, fails. The wom- 
en seem to be more conscious of how they look in uniform 
. . . and when it comes to wearing sidearms which might 
make a hippy woman look hippier, an option of uniform 
is allowed. They can wear either skirts or utility outfits. 48 

Anticipated problems resulting from men and 
women living in the same barracks did not material- 
ize as the division men seemed to take a protective 
attitude toward the WMs. Barracks and office language 
was noticeably improved, but the feminine presence 
apparently caused little resentment on that score, since 
Lieutenant Colonel White was quoted as saying, "The 
division is more fun with the girls." 49 

The women unanimously endorsed FMF assign- 
ments for WMs. Lance Corporal Debora Pederson, a 
correspondence clerk in the headquarters battalion ad- 
jutant's office, said, ". . . at Pendleton, we are treated 
as Marines, not specified as women Marines." 50 First 
Lieutenant Venne found senior officers dubious when 
she was assigned as a division engineer, responsible 
for equipment used in bridge building, grading roads, 
and other construction projects associated with com- 
bat. But the skepticism was because she was a lieu- 
tenant and not because she was a woman. 



In July 1977, there were 610 women Marines serv- 
ing in the FMF, 96 officers and 514 enlisted women. 51 
The policy to assign them only to stateside organiza- 
tions was still in effect, but individual exceptions had 
been made where FMF commanders overseas had spe- 
cifically asked for women Marines. 

Women in Command 

The Marine Corps Manual, from 1948 until 1973, 
laid down the rule that women could command only 
those units that were predominantly female. At least 
one exception was made when Captain Jeanne Flem- 
ing was assigned as the commanding officer of Com- 
pany B, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps 
Schools, Quantico, from July 1956 until September 
1958. The company consisted of all officer students 
at Quantico, less those attending The Basic School. 
Her duties were primarily administrative, but it was 
quite unusual, nevertheless, for men to report in and 
find a woman commanding officer. One of them was 
Major Albert W. Snell, later to head the Ad Hoc Com- 
mittee in 1973. 

After approving the Snell Committee recommen- 
dation that women be permitted to command units 
other than woman Marine companies, General Cush- 
man announced the new policy at a press conference 
in southern California in December 1973. He added, 
as a side comment, that, indeed, Camp Pendleton was 
soon to make such an assignment. According to the 
woman destined to become the Marine Corps' first 
woman commander of a nearly all male battalion, 
Colonel Mary E. Bane, the general's pronouncement 
was news to the command at Camp Pendleton. The 
press picked up on the Commandant's statement im- 
mediately and all other topics of his news conference 
were forgotten. 

Colonel Bane, who had been filling a colonel's billet 
as an assistant chief of staff for personnel services, was 
informed by the Assistant Chief of Staff (Manpower), 
"You have been selected to sacrifice, Evie." 52 The day 
following the Commandant's announcement, the 
commanding general, Brigadier General Robert L. 
Nichols, named Colonel Bane to be Commanding 
Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine 
Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. The furor 
was astonishing. In less than 24 hours, she had to 
change her telephone to an unlisted number. She had 
spent a sleepless night answering calls from the me- 
dia, women's liberation organizations, cranks, and 
friends. In a short time she received over 300 letters, 



UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 



99 



* 







«u 




Capt Kathleen V, Abies takes command of a predominantly male unit, Supply Compa- 
ny, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Twenty nine Palms, in 1975. 



both congratulatory and abusive. There were requests 
for autographed photographs and an 80-year-old re- 
tired Navy chief petty officer wrote to General Earl 
E. Anderson, Assistant Commandant, and asked for 
a set of Colonel Bane's first lieutenant bars. Mail came 
from Germany, Vietnam, Korea, and the Philippines, 
and from such diverse sources as the American Nazi 
Party and the National Organization of Women. In 
fact, the letters continued to arrive two years after she 
left the command. 

Headquarters and Service Battalion was a unit of 
1,700 Marines, including a woman Marine company. 
Colonel Bane's immediate staff, the executive officer, 
Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Topping, and the bat- 
talion sergeant major, were all very supportive. She, 
herself, felt unprepared for the billet and resented be- 
ing assigned because of sex rather than qualifications. 
In due time the commotion subsided, and business 
at the battalion went on as usual. Eleven months later, 
Brigadier General Paul Graham assumed command 
of Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, and reas- 
signed Colonel Bane for, in her words, ". . . precisely 
the same reason for which I was assigned — because I 
was a woman." 53 He just did not want a woman as the 
commanding officer of a headquarters battalion. In 
fact, he did not want a woman in a colonel's billet and 
Colonel Bane, who had held the responsible position 
of an assistant chief of staff and had been a battalion 
commander for 11 months, was reassigned as the base 
human affairs officer, a major's billet. 54 

When Captain Kathleen V. Abbott Abies took com- 
mand of Supply Company, Headquarters and Service 



Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, 
California, on 7 March 1975, there was none of the 
hoopla that accompanied Colonel Bane's ap- 
pointment. It was, just the same, an historic event, 
a woman in command of a predominantly male com- 
pany. Looking back, Major Abies was not certain what 
prompted the battalion commander to assign a woman 
to the job. The billet was open, and she was the next 
senior captain in the battalion. She wrote, "The 
prevailing attitude was that it was my job as a cap- 
tain, and that I could and would handle it profes- 
sionally." 55 

The company first sergeant, Gayle R. Heitman, 
made it known to the NCOs and SNCOs that he had 
worked with Captain Abies before and their express- 
ed fears were unfounded. Only the company clerk, a 
sergeant, had real difficulty accepting a woman com- 
manding officer, and he went to the battalion com- 
mander several times, in vain, to ask for a transfer. 

In the beginning, as might be expected, inspections 
were the cause of some concern. Personnel inspections 
had been held without weapons at Supply Company 
so that when Captain Abies arrived on the scene she 
merely had to learn the details of male uniform regu- 
lations and personal appearance standards. As for 
quarters inspections, it was not difficult to respect the 
privacy of Marine shift workers who were apt to be 
sleeping or relaxing in the barracks during the day 
since the battalion was billeted in motel-style rooms 
rather than in open squadbays. First Sergeant Heit- 
man would knock and if there was no answer, he would 



100 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



unlock the door and go in. If the room was empty, 
Captain Abies followed him in to inspect. The proce- 
dure was reversed in the women's BEQ. Male Marines 
learned something about a woman's idea of a clean 
barracks. In a 1977 letter, Major Abies wrote: 

BEQ inspections caused some heartburn in the company 
for about a month after I became commanding officer. With 
two of us inspecting, a large number of previously undetected 
discrepancies were found. One morning, we arrived at one 
room to find one of the occupants leaning over a table with 
a cloth in his hand. I made some comment about making 
the final touch up, and he replied, "Yes, m am. We hear you're 
a real stickler on dust." 56 

Nonjudicial punishment is always unpleasant but 
with a woman commanding officer could be awkward 
as well, depending upon the nature of the offense. 
One case involved language that neither the accused 
nor the witnesses wanted to use in front of a lady. A 
relatively simple solution was found: the offending 
statement was written out and all parties read and 
signed it. 

Five months after taking over Supply Company, 
Captain Abies was assigned as commanding officer of 
her second and larger nearly all-male company, Head- 
quarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battal- 
ion, which consisted of about 330 men and 40 women. 
Again, the first sergeant, Gene A. Lafond, was a key 
to a successful tour. Integrated battalions and com- 
panies such as this one gave rise to some interesting 
adjustments, notably in the area of physical training. 
In this instance, the battalion organized a competi- 
tive seven-mile conditioning hike. The course includ- 
ed a climb over hills behind the main camp, but 
because the WMs did not have adequate boots for the 
cross-country portion, a seven-mile road march was 
planned for them to be lead by Captain Abies. The 
battalion commander had arranged to take her com- 
pany himself. The women's platoons from each com- 
pany were combined to form a single WM unit and 



scheduled to hike on the day before Captain Abies' 
Headquarters Company. 

Having finished her portion of training, Captain 
Abies was challenged by her husband, Major Charles 
K. Abies, to lead her own company the next day. She 
admitted that it was a struggle to run-walk to keep 
from straggling. It happened that she was not only 
not the last to complete the course, but she helped 
to push a Marine over the finish line, and Headquart- 
ers Company won the competition. Afterwards, it was 
decided that future company hikes would be conduct- 
ed with men and women participating together, main- 
taining unit integrity. 

An interesting aspect of Captain Abies' experience 
as a commanding officer is the fact that her husband 
was a member of her command, no doubt a unique 
situation in Marine Corps history. 

In addition to the command tours of Colonel Bane 
and Captain Abies, other assignments evidenced some 
change in philosophy and policy. In 1974, Lieutenant 
Colonel Annie M. Trowsdale was assigned as execu- 
tive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squa- 
dron, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, and Sergeant 
Major Eleanor L. Judge was named sergeant major of 
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine 
Corps Air Station, Cherry Point. Gunnery Sergeant 
Frances Gonzales, in 1975, became the first sergeant 
of Casual Company, Headquarters and Service Bat- 
talion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. 57 

1913-1911 Summary 

The Snell Committee report, approved in Novem- 
ber 1973, challenged the Marine Corps to take a new 
look at its use of womanpower, and the zero draft sit- 
uation for military services demanded it. Combined 
with the women's movement, changing attitudes in 
American society, and successful recruiting in terms 
of quality as well as numbers, these factors added up 
to a role of increased importance to be played by wom- 
en in the Marine Corps. 



CHAPTER 8 

Reserves After Korea 

Deactivation of the WR Platoons — Woman Special Enlistment Program — Strength 
Women Reserve Officers— Formal Training for Women Reservists 



Following the Korean War, the Woman Marine Or- 
ganized Reserve program was reestablished and ex- 
panded. The extraordinary success of the original 13 
platoons activated in 1949-1950 and mobilized by Au- 
gust 1950 demonstrated the wisdom and practicality 
of the plan to maintain a trained cadre of women. Ac- 
cordingly, when the Reservists completed their tour 
of duty and the Korean emergency neared settlement, 
Headquarters set an objective of 18 women's platoons 
having a strength of two officers and 50 enlisted wom- 
en each. 

Their mission explicitly was ". . . to provide trained 
women reservists to meet initial mobilization needs 
of the Marine Corps." 1 To this end, each of these post- 
Korean platoons was assigned a specialty determined 
by mobilization needs. The original plans called for 
units trained in administration, supply, classification, 
and disbursing. In 1953, First Lieutenant Margaret A. 
Brewer, a future Director of Women Marines, or- 
ganized a communication platoon of 10 officers and 
47 enlisted women in Brooklyn, bringing the total up 
to 19 WR units. Later, a 20th platoon was activated 
in Miami, Florida. Unlike the pre-Korea Reserve pro- 
gram, these women not only participated in formal 
specialty training at their home armory, but they at- 
tended summer training at Marine Corps posts and 
stations. 

The WR platoons were attached to the parent 
Reserve unit and came under the command of the 
male commanding officer. Women officers were desig- 
nated as platoon leaders and assistant platoon lead- 
ers, but were commonly referred to as the 
commanding officer and executive officer by the wom- 
en members. Active duty women Marines, one officer 
and one or two enlisted women were assigned to the 
inspector-instructor staff to assist the Reserve platoon 
leader. 

The women's platoon was responsible for its own 
internal administration, recruitment, adherence to 
rank and military occupational specialty distribution 
of the members, training, and mobilization state of 
readiness. Additionally, to make up for the increased 
work of the parent unit caused by the WR platoon, 



the women were directed to assume part of the ad- 
ministrative work of the male organization. 

Forty- eight two-hour training sessions per year were 
required. Training of the WRs took several forms: basic 
general military information for women with no pri- 
or service; refresher courses for former servicewomen; 
and formal classes in the unit's specialty. Summer 
camp was the highlight of the training program, not 
only because of the benefit of the classes, but because 
it provided military experiences (e.g., squadbay accom- 
modations, restrictive liberty hours, liberty cards, 
standing duty watches, field night, barracks inspec- 
tions, male drill instructors, mess halls, and reveille), 
unknown and impossible to acquire at the home ar- 
mory. For some of the inexperienced Reservists, unac- 
customed to military routine, the overnight change 
from civilian to Marine was jolting. They learned 
quickly that a merely clean sink was not good enough 
and that returning from liberty a few minutes late was 
tantamount to a calamity. As a rule, liberty at sum- 
mer camp expired at 2200 for women below the rank 
of corporal and some of these lower ranking Marines 
carried an alarm clock in their purse to avoid being 
late. 2 

The annual two-week training period included com- 
bat demonstrations, gas mask drill, classes, par- 
ticipation in a parade or review, as well as Softball 
games and picnics with the regular WMs. At each post 
where women Reservists trained, a Woman Reserve liai- 
son officer was assigned to coordinate the unit activi- 
ties. She conducted the annual pretraining conference 
in the spring, attended by inspector-instructors and 
the platoon officers, and she assisted the unit during 
the actual training session. 

At home, the Reservists enlarged the intended scope 
of the program with numerous recreational and pub- 
lic relations activities. Rifle, bowling, and Softball 
teams were the rule. The WR platoons participated 
in parades on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, and 
in celebration of local holidays. They were asked to 
attend movie premieres in the days when John Wayne 
and Marine Corps movies were common; and they 
helped the Marine Reserve Toys for Tots campaign by 
laundering and mending doll clothes, wrapping gifts, 



101 



102 



and posing for publicity photographs. It was not un- 
usual for enthusiastic women Reservists to spend sever- 
al evenings a week at the armory rather than the 
required two hours. 3 

The first post-Korea WR platoon to be established 
was the Woman Marine Classification Platoon, 2d In- 
fantry Battalion, in Boston, which was activated on 
13 January 1952. 4 "Boston's Own 1 ' was so successful that 
on 16 November 1955 it was redesignated a company 
with an authorized strength of three officers and 103 
enlisted women. At the ceremony in honor of the first 
Woman Marine Reserve company, the unit was award- 
ed two recently won trophies, the Katherine Towle 
Trophy given each year to the Woman Reserve platoon 
attaining the highest percentage of attendance at an- 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

nual field training and the Commanding Officer's 
trophy annually awarded to the best Woman Marine 
platoon attending summer training at Parris Island 
based on scholastic standing, percentage of atten- 
dance, and military bearing. The platoon had already 
made history as the first to win the Ruth Cheney 
Streeter trophy for attaining the highest percentage 
of combined officer and enlisted woman attendance 
at drill periods during 1952, a feat repeated in 1953. 
To the already impressive collection, the Boston Reser- 
vists added the National Women Reserve Rifle Team 
Trophy. 5 

A list of the 20 post-Korea, WM platoons in the 
Organized Reserve showing their dates of activation, 
and the names of the platoon leaders upon activation 
appears as a table on page 103 : 6 



Future brigadier general, IstLt Margaret A. Brewer (seated second from left), was inspector- 
instructor, WM Communication Platoon, 2d Communications Company, Brooklyn, New 
York. Capt Mary E. Roach (seated third from left) was the platoon commander in 1934. 








RESERVES AFTER KOREA 



103 



WM Classification Platoon, 2d Infantry Battalion 


13jan52 


Captain Olive P. McCarty, I&I, served as interim 


Boston, Massachusetts 




platoon leader. 


WM Administrative Platoon, 3d Infantry Battalion 


13Feb52 


Captain Leontone A. Meyer 


St. Louis, Missouri 






WM Administrative Platoon, 5th Infantry Battalion 


6Mar52 


Major Evelyn J. Greathouse 


Detroit, Michigan 






WM Classification Platoon, 2d 105mm Howitzer Battalion 


25Mar52 


Captain Christine S. Strain 


Los Angeles, California 






WM Classification Platoon 


17Apr52 


Major Mildred D. Gannon 


1st Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company 






Fort Schuyler, New York 






WM Classification Platoon, 9th Infantry Battalion 


24Apr52 


Captain Mary R. Jason 


Chicago, Illinois 






WM Supply Platoon, 2d Depot Supply Battalion 


24Apr52 


First Lieutenant Florence E. Lovelace 


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 






WM Classification Platoon, 10th Infantry Battalion 


lMay52 


Captain Virginia B. Strong 


Seattle, Washington 






WM Disbursing Platoon, 2d Depot Supply Battalion 


22May52 


Unknown 


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 






(deactivated lDec55) 






WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion 


27May52 


Captain Margaret E. Meyers 


Tampa, Florida 






WM Classification Platoon, 1st Engineer Battalion 


12Aug52 


Major Betty F. Coy 


Baltimore, Maryland 






WM Administrative Platoon, 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion 


30Aug52 


Captain Hazel C. Tyler 


Dallas, Texas 






WM Administrative Platoon, 4th Infantry Battalion 


5Sep52 


Captain Florence I. Haasarud 


Minneapolis, Minnesota 






WM Supply Platoon, 11th Infantry Battalion 


2Dec52 


Captain Bernice V. Carpenter 


Cleveland, Ohio 






WM Supply Platoon, 7th Infantry Battalion 


28Feb53 


Captain Marjorie J. Woolman 


San Bruno, California 






(later moved to 1st Antiaircraft Artillery, Automatic Weapons 






Battalion, San Francisco, California) 






WM Disbursing Platoon, 13th Infantry Battalion 


28Apr53 


Captain A. Taylor 


Washington, D.C. 






WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st 155mm Gun Battalion 


28Apr53 


Second Lieutenant Marilyn J. Standage 


Denver, Colorado 






WM Communications Platoon, 2d Communications Battalion 


19Nov53 


Captain Janet M. Lowrie 


Brooklyn, New York 






WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st Communications Company 


lDec53 


First Lieutenant Marjorie B. MacKinnon 


Worcester, Massachusetts 






(formerly at Philadelphia) 






WM Supply Platoon, 10th Automatic Weapons Battery 


7Mar54 


First Lieutenant Virginia A. Hajek, I&I, served 


Kansas City, Missouri 




as interim platoon leader; Major Helen A. 
Wilson, platoon leader 


WM Administrative Platoon, 2d 105mm Gun Battalion 


31Jul55 


First Lieutenant Mabel A. Pauley 


Miami, Florida 







104 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Deactivation of the WR Platoons 

As a result of fiscal limitations and a desire to in- 
crease male enlisted strength to meet mobilization re- 
quirements, the Reserve Structure Board, meeting in 
May 1958, recommended the deactivation of the WR 
platoons. Two units, Kansas City and Tampa, had al- 
ready been deactivated, leaving only 18 in 1957. At 
the time of the proposed dissolution of the platoons 
the total strength was 29 officers and 618 enlisted 
women as opposed to an authorized strength of 34 
and 687. The strength of the WR platoons had peaked 
in 1955 with 35 officers and 664 enlisted women 
Marines. 7 

The undersigned does not concur with the recommen- 
dation of the Reserve Structure Board that the Woman Ma- 
rine Reserve units be disbanded and the membership in the 
Organized Marine Corps Reserve units be restricted to male 
personnel, or to the arguments given to support such a 
recommendation. 

The board report emphasized the decreasing 
strength of the platoons since 1955 and the cost in- 
volved in training women. The point was made that 
the same amount of money would support 200 addi- 
tional six-month trainees (male). Lieutenant Colonel 
Elsie E. Hill, Head of the Women's Branch, Division 
of Reserve, took exception to the report and on 14 May 
1958 submitted her views which were: 

She continued: 

Inasmuch as the statement is made that a strength of 
45,000 is sufficient to provide all of the initial requirements 
for desired augmentation of the Fleet Marine Force upon 
mobilization it is assumed that numbers of trained person- 
nel become of paramount importance. From just the stand- 
point of numbers alone, it becomes obvious that 600 women 
is a larger number of trained personnel than the 200 six- 
month trainees. , , . 8 

She argued that the 600 women could be used for 
administrative support during the early stages of 
mobilization, thus releasing a like number of Regu- 
lars who, she wrote. ". , , are not only highly trained, 
but at the optimum of training." Referring to the is- 
sue of the $200,000 spent each year on the women's 
program, she pointed out that in 1957, two women 
had to be enlisted for a net gain of one, while five 
men had to be enlisted to produce the same result. 

Lieutenant Colonel Hill concluded that to continue 
the organized program for women was the only eco- 
nomical course to follow. As might be expected, the 
Director of Women Marines, Colonel Julia E. Ham- 



blet, the one person most directly responsible for the 
activation of WR platoons, did not agree with the 
board's recommendations and added the comments: 

The basic problem appears to the undersigned to boil 
down to the following: which will be more important in the 
early stages of mobilization — approximately 600 trained or 
partially trained administrative personnel or a somewhat less- 
er number of potential combat Marines in various stages of 
training. It is believed that it would be impossible to mobi- 
lize a Selected Reserve of the size indicated ... in the time 
contemplated without prior or simultaneous augmentation 
of administrative personnel at Mobilization Stations, Joint 
Examining and Induction Stations, District Headquarters 
and Processing Centers. It is my belief that the male ad- 
ministrative personnel in the Organized Reserve will be need- 
ed in the numbers available in the FMF and other operating 
force units with an early deployment schedule, and that the 
women will be needed as part of the required immediate 
administrative back-up. . . . 9 

The women's protests notwithstanding, it was decid- 
ed to disband the units and to allow 227 women Reser- 
vists (one half of one percent of the authorized 
strength of the Organized Reserve) to remain in a drill 
pay status, affiliated with male Reserve units. 10 There 
was a great deal of bitterness on the part of women 
Reservists who had faithfully served in the Reserve for 
as many as 11 years. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Mary 
E. Roddy recalls hearing the news of deactivation while 
she was at summer training with her platoon at San 
Diego. The Dallas women were finishing up an en- 
joyable and profitable two weeks and she was reluc- 
tant to tell them of the impending disbandment of 
the program. On the night before leaving for home, 
she broke the news so that she would be the first to 
tell them. A final inspection at deactivation ceremo- 
nies for the unit was held at the Dallas Naval and Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve Training Center on Saturday, 27 
September 1958. Joining Major Roddy for the inspec- 
tion was Lieutenant Colonel Joe B, Griffith, Jr., 
commanding officer of the 1st 4. 5 -inch Rocket Bat- 
talion, 1 i 

At first there was spirited competition for the covet- 
ed 227 billets but by 1967 the number of women par- 
ticipating in a paid status with the Organized Reserve 
dwindled to two officers and 74 enlisted women, 12 Be- 
tween 1958 and 1967 there was no Reserve program 
for WMs. 

Woman Special Enlistment Program 

An outgrowth of the Woman Marine Program Study 
Group of 1964 (General Pepper Board) was the crea- 
tion of an Ad Hoc Committee in 1966 to study Reserve 



RESERVES AFTER KOREA 



105 



training for women Marines. This committee recom- 
mended the creation of three women's platoons, and 
the enlistment of women without prior service who 
would be sent to Parris Island for a 10-week period 
of training (an adaptation of the six-month training 
program in effect at the time for male Marines). 13 

The platoon idea was quickly discarded as being too 
expensive and too restrictive geographically. The Direc- 
tor of Women Marines, Colonel Barbara J. Bishop, did 
not approve of the plan to train Reservists at Parris Is- 
land due to the lack of space at the Woman Recruit 
Training Battalion. So, it was not until 10 June 1971, 
nearly four years after the submission of the commit- 
tee report, that the Woman Marine Special Enlistment 
Program was established in the Marine Corps Reserve. 
Marine Corps Order 1001R.47 provided for an initial 
quota of 88 women to be recruited and enlisted by 
Organized Reserve units (ground and aviation). These 
women, integrated with platoons of regular WMs, 
received ten weeks of active duty. Training of varying 
periods was offered after completion of basic training. 



Reservists then returned home and attended regular 
drills and training periods with their units for the re- 
mainder of a three-year enlistment. 14 

From that time on, the assignment and utilization 
of women Reservists paralleled that of the Regulars. 
In 1973 when the Commandant approved a pilot pro- 
gram to assign women Marines to division, wing, and 
force service regiment headquarters based in the Unit- 
ed States, women Reservists moved into those units 
in the Organized Reserve. By May 1976, one and one- 
half percent (i.e., 30 officer and 400 enlisted billets) 
of the members of the 4th Marine Division/Wing were 
women. 15 

In the year in which the prohibition which limited 
women officers to succeeding to command only of 
units made up primarily of women was lifted, 1973, 
the way was opened for women to command Or- 
ganized Reserve units. One of the first to do so was 
Major Jeanne B. Botwright Humphrey, Commanding 
Officer, Truck Company, 4th Service Battalion, Erie, 
Pennsylvania. 



LtColJoe B. Griffith, Jr. , and 'Ma/ Mary E. Roddy conduct inspection at the deactivation 
ceremony in 1958 of the WR Platoon, 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion, Dallas, Texas. 




106 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Strength 

As early as 1948, a strength goal for women Ma- 
rines was set at one percent of the authorized enlist- 
ed strength of the Marine Corps even though the law 
allowed for a maximum of two percent. The same 
figures dictated the number of women allowed to par- 
ticipate in the Reserve, In 1967, Public Law 90-130 re- 
moved the percentage restrictions and has allowed for 
a steady increase in the number of women Marines, 
Regular and Reserve, In 1975, the Director of the Di- 
vision of Reserve, Major General Michael P, Ryan, act- 
ing on a request from the Commanding General, 4th 
Marine Division, stated that it would be possible and 
advantageous to increase the number of women to five 
percent of the authorized strength of the Organized 
Reserve. But due to the desirability of an incremental 
rate of growth, he asked that the ceiling for fiscal year 
1976 be increased to three percent. This translated into 
1,937 women. 16 By 1977, ahead of the schedule, a max- 
imum of five percent was authorized. Actual figures 
on 30 June 1977 were 40 officers and 668 enlisted 
women in the 4th Marine Division and 4th Marine 
Aircraft Wing. 

Women Reserve Officers 

There remained the perplexing problems of pro- 
viding adequate training for women Reserve officers. 
While organized units were willing and often anxious 
to join enlisted women, most of whom had ad- 
ministrative skills, few units could find a place for the 
officers, especially if they were above the rank of cap- 
tain. Major General Ryan encouraged the male units 
to join women officers* Believing that the most 
profitable training comes from experience in an or- 
ganized unit, he took positive steps to make this op- 
portunity available to the women. In 1976 a message 
was sent from Headquarters Marine Corps to the Com- 
manding Generals, 4th Marine Division and 4th Ma- 
rine Aircraft Wing authorizing them to exceed 
authorized officer strength by joining WM officers in 
numbers not to exceed five percent of total authorized 



*The positive attitude of Major General Ryan was based upon 
his personal knowledge of the utilization of WRs in World War II. 
He estimated that at least 18,000 women would be needed again 
in an emergency, and he believed in the importance of their train- 
ing. This tends to support a contention of Colonel Hamblet, that 
the men who served in World War II recognized the contribution 
of the WRs and that as these men retired, women Marines received 
less and less consideration. 



officer strength. Since these are combat-ready units, 
the women could not be included in their mobiliza- 
tion plans, but upon mobilization would be reassigned 
individually to base units to replace male Marines who 
would in turn augment the Reserve units. Women 
Reservists who had been openly critical of the lack of 
meaningful training opportunities found reason for 
optimism in the message and especially the final para- 
graph which put teeth into the plan and read: 

As the majority of available WM officer assets are in the 
administrative and supply fields, this is an opportunity for 
individual commanders to improve administrative and supply 
efforts. 

Request this headquarters be advised of results of this pro- 
gram. Request you reply no later than 31 December 1976. 17 

Formal Training for Women Reservists 

Beyond unit training, increased numbers of wom- 
en Reservists received orders to formal technical and 
professional schools. In 1971, four years after the first 
Regular woman officer entered the midlevel Amphibi- 
ous Warfare School at Quantico, Major Patricia A. 
Hook and Captain Elizabeth D, Doize were assigned 
to Phase I of the shortened Reserve version of that 
course. Major Hook returned to Quantico the follow- 
ing summer to complete Phase II and became the first 
woman Reserve officer to graduate from the Reserve 
Officers 1 Amphibious Warfare Course, In 1973, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Patricia A, Meid and Major Hook at- 
tended the special Reserve course offered by the 
Command and Staff College, becoming the first wom- 
en Reservists to do so, 18 

The most dramatic manifestation of a change in at- 
titude and policy resulting in broader and unusual op- 
portunities for women Reservists was the assignment 
of the military occupational specialty of air delivery 
to Private Beth Ann Fraser, Having joined the Reserve 
under the Special Enlistment Program, her three-year 
contract provided for initial recruit training at Parris 
Island followed by specialist training. In Private Fraser's 
case, that meant three weeks at the Army Airborne 
School ("jump school 11 ) at Fort Benning, Georgia, 

She graduated with Platoon 9A, Woman Recruit 
Training Command, on 15 November 1976. Even be- 
fore her basic training began she had been preparing 
herself for the physical rigors of jump school by run- 
ning two miles several days a week. At Parris Island 
she performed extra physical training and unlike the 
other women, she wore combat boots and utilities dur- 
ing the required run. 



RESERVES AFTER KOREA 



107 



Private Fraser entered the Airborne School on 16 
November where the training included physical con- 
ditioning, practicing parachute landing falls, tower 
jumps, and finally actual jumps from an airplane. The 
chief instructor at the airborne battalion, Master Ser- 
geant D. W. Fischer, described Fraser as " . . physi- 
cally strong, a bit above average, with lots of esprit 
de corps." 19 Her platoon sergeant, Sergeant First Class 
Thomas Rowe, said of her, "We don't often get wom- 
en through here who are in such good physical shape 
or have her can do' attitude. She is definitely represen- 
tative of what I think a Marine stands for." 20 Private 
Fraser attributed her success to the Marines of her 
home unit of whom she said, "Those guys really 
helped. They had me running, pulling- up, sitting- up, 
the works." 21 

To demonstrate the Corps' pride in her ac- 
complishment, Brigadier General Jack M. Frisbie, 
commanding general of the 4th Force Service Support 
Group, not only attended Private Fraser's graduation 
but also promoted her to private first class. Addition- 



allyi her former drill instructor from Parris Island, Ser- 
geant Kathy A. Potter, made a special trip to 
congratulate the first woman Marine to graduate from 
Army Airborne School. 

Private First Class Fraser returned to her Reserve 
unit, the Beach and Port Operations Company, Head- 
quarters and Service Battalion, 4th Force Service Sup- 
port Group in San Jose, California, to serve the 
remainder of her contract. Her MOS is an example 
of the type of rear echelon duty that can be performed 
by women, delivering supplies by air. Since she gradu- 
ated, several women Regulars have attended the same 
school. 

The cited examples, Major Humphrey, commanding 
officer of a truck company; Private First Class Fraser, 
assigned to air delivery; and the number of WMs serv- 
ing in organized units along with male Marines, tes- 
tify to a more total integration of women into the 
Marine Corps Reserve and the recognition of their 
potential value as a source of trained Marines in the 
event of war or national emergency. 



108 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Pvt Diane Curtis smiles as she receives her Marine Corps emblem during graduation ex- 
ercises at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina in March 1967. The 
emblem-pinning ceremony signifies the woman has successfully completed recruit training. 



CHAPTER 9 

Recruit Training 

Mission — The Training Program— Arrival at Partis Island— The Daily Routine —Recruit Regulations 
The Drill Instructor-Recruit Evaluation and Awards— WM Complex— Command Reorganized 



Enlisted women Marines begin their service at the 
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. The wom- 
en's battalion had been known, at different times, as 
the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, the Woman Recruit 
Training Battalion, and the Woman Recruit Training 
Command. Boot camp has varied in length from six 
to 10 weeks, but certain things remain unchanged. The 
schedule is rigorous; the drill instructors seem bigger 
than life; and for the recruit, no matter what moti- 
vated her to enlist, on graduation day, being called 
a Marine is enough. 

Mission 

Woman recruit training has been designed ". . . to 
produce a basic woman Marine who is able to func- 
tion effectively in garrison and instinctively practice 
those traits that distinguish her as a Marine." 1 The 
specific objectives of recruit training were listed in 1976 
as: 

a. Self-discipline. A state of discipline which assures respect 
for authority; instant willing obedience to orders and the 
self-reliance to maintain or improve those traits that distin- 
guish a Marine. 

b. Military Skills. To teach individual proficiency in select- 
ed basic military skills. 

c. Physical Fitness. The ability to maintain physical fit- 
ness, endurance, and weight-distribution. 

d. Military Bearing. The ability to properly wear and main- 
tain uniforms and practice personal hygiene. 

e. Esprit de Corps. To instill the spirit of comradeship 
among all Marines for each other and the Marine Corps. 2 

Fundamentally, they differ very little from the aims 
set by Captain Henderson and her staff in 1949. 

The Training Program 

Originally, recruits completed a six-week course con- 
sisting of basic military and administrative subjects. 
By 1949, when the 3d Recruit Training Battalion was 
activated, Marines had become accustomed to the ma- 
ture WR of World War II who entered the Corps with 
certain basic skills, and it was hoped — especially by 
the men— that this short course would produce a 
woman Marine ready to take her place in nearly any 
Marine Corps office. At first the recruits were at least 



20 years old and as a rule they had some business ex- 
perience. After the age limit was lowered to 18 years 
and the requirement of a high school diploma was 
dropped in 1950, a longer period of training was 
deemed necessary. 

Major Beckley, Commanding Officer, 3d Recruit 
Training Battalion in 1951, asked that boot camp be 
lengthened to eight weeks and that instruction in 
group living, character guidance, career guidance, and 
typing be added to the program. 3 Her recom- 
mendation reflected the frustration felt by the wom- 
en Marines who had entered the service during World 
War II. Confronted with a younger recruit— probably 
away from home for the first time, motivated more 
by a sense of adventure than a sense of patriotism, and 
unaccustomed to the discipline of even a civilian 
job— they worried about the qualifications of the "new 
breed." 

In a letter to Colonel Towle, Major Beckley described 
the problem of finding suitable assignments for wom- 
en with low mental scores or who had had little career 
training. Conceding that the women consistently 
scored higher on intelligence tests than male recruits, 
nevertheless, she observed: 

Male recruits who have low GCT scores can be fitted into 
many types of work and prove most valuable. Women Ma- 
rines are automatically restricted in performance of heavy 
manual duties. They fill billets involving "white collar" work 
where at least average ability, a neat appearance, and mili- 
tary bearing are requisites. 4 

The discovery in one platoon of three women who list- 
ed their civilian occupations as sheepherder, gill net 
fisherman, and motorcyclist strengthened her case for 
more careful screening and a change in recruit 
training. 5 

Colonel Towle endorsed the basic proposal, but be- 
cause of her great interest in advanced training added: 

It is assumed that inclusion in the proposed revised train- 
ing program of basic typing for all recruits, as outlined 
. . . will not be taken as indicative that every woman Ma- 
rine is a potential typist or preclude assignment to the Clerk 
Typist School in cases where such further training is con- 
sidered desirable and necessary. 6 

109 



110 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Recruits at Parris Island undergo tear gas exercises during recruit training in 1950. 



The new program lengthening recruit training from 
six to eight weeks became effective on 1 October 19527 

Since that time the length of the training cycle has 
varied from seven to 10 weeks with three major pro- 
gram changes. The first was the introduction of a 
General Office Procedures Course in 1958. 8 Essentially, 
at that time recruit training was separated into two 
elements: six weeks of basic military indoctrination and 
four weeks of administration. During the initial mili- 
tary indoctrination phase, the recruit underwent tradi- 
tional training. She then moved her personal 
belongings to another barracks and, under less super- 
vision, completed the General Office Procedures 
Course. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel 
Barbara J. Bishop, recommended the new program in 
order to make the women more valuable to a com- 
mand from the minute they reported for duty and also 
to give them a chance to move gradually from the strict 



supervision of recruit training into the relative free- 
dom enjoyed by permanent personnel. 9 

This latter aim emphasized one of the major pro- 
blems encountered by graduate woman recruits. 
Whereas the male Marine traditionally moved from 
recruit training to advanced infantry training with an 
attendant let-up in supervision, the woman normally 
went directly from recruit to permanent personnel sta- 
tus. Oftentimes, after arrival at her new command, 
the period of adjustment was as difficult for the wom- 
an's first sergeant as for the woman herself. 

After the General Office Procedures Course was in- 
augurated, graduation from boot camp was not quite 
the same sad, emotion-packed event that it had been. 
A simple ceremony was held on the parade ground 
behind the battalion administration building, and it 
was followed by the move out of recruit barracks. The 
most noticeable changes for the new graduates were 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



111 



granting of base liberty from 1700 to 2400 on week- 
days and 1145 to 2400 on weekends, reveille at the 
more civilized hour of 0600, and a work day that end- 
ed at 1630. 10 

Chief Warrant Officer Ruth L Wood, who had been 
a teacher before joining the Marine Corps in 1943, was 
head of the new administrative course which includ- 
ed 44 hours of typing, and classes in the Marine Corps 
Directive System, business English, spelling, cor- 
respondence, publications, security of military infor- 
mation, office etiquette, and the duties of a 
receptionist. On the small, hand-picked staff were 
Technical Sergeants Lillian J. West and Eileen P. Phe- 
lan, both former school teachers, and Technical Ser- 
geant Grace A, Carle— later Sergeant Major of Women 
Marines— who had had civilian experience as an in- 
structor, 1 l 

The dual training program — first boot camp and 
then the General Office Procedures Course— was not 
entirely satisfactory in that it took a considerable 
amount of administrative work to transfer the wom- 
en from recruit to student status, and more im- 
portantly, it shortened the screening and observation 
time. Since only recruits could be separated by an ap- 
titude board, the disposition of marginal and problem 
students became particularly difficult. Thus in 1961, 
Lieutenant Colonel Hill, then Commanding Officer, 
Woman Recruit Training Battalion, asked that the 
10-week dual program be combined into a nine-week 
course of two phases, with the important proviso that 
the women remain in a recruit status and under the 



supervision of the recruit company staff during the 
entire period, 12 

The second major program change in Marine Corps 
woman recruit training was the introduction in 1967 
of the Image Development Course, part of a larger 
plan to teach grooming to recruits, officer candidates, 
and permanent personnel. The decision to adopt this 
program was based on three premises: first, the im- 
provement of the woman Marine image would en- 
hance the prestige of the WM program in the eyes of 
the public and within the Marine Corps; second, that 
emphasis on the feminine aspects of a servicewoman's 
life would counteract the unappealing impression of 
military service and therefore improve recruitment; 
and finally, that heightened self-confidence and poise 
would reflect advantageously on the duty performance 
of the woman Marine, 

Lectures of this sort had always been a part of wom- 
an Marine training, but the new approach to teach- 
ing techniques of proper makeup, hair and nail care, 
wardrobe selection, posture, wig selection and care, 
social etiquette, wearing the uniform, and grooming 
practices involved a personal program to meet the in- 
dividual's needs. It was designed to enhance each 
woman's poise and social grace. To start the effort on 
a sound footing, 20 women Marines, officer and en- 
listed, were trained at the Pan American World Air- 
ways International Stewardess College, They would 
serve as instructors. Beautifully decorated, profession- 
ally outfitted grooming facilities were installed at 
Quantico in 1967 and at Parris Island in 1970, 13 



The "peanut suit, " a one-piece seersucker exercise uniform with drawstring bloomers held 
over from World War II and in the system until I960, is worn by women recruits. 




112 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




IstLt Patricia Watson, recruit platoon commander, takes daily inspection in 1956. 



The Image Development Course, which fluctuated 
from 12 to 31 hours in length was conducted in a more 
relaxed manner than other phases of recruit training 
and proved to be a popular addition to the schedule, 
particularly from the recruits' point of view. One of 
the most important parts of the course covered the 
proper application and reapplication of cosmetics 
throughout the day. The recruits were inspected as be- 
fore, but in addition to the shine on the shoes, press 
of the uniform, and police of the barracks, they had 
to be concerned with their makeup. The natural 
look— appropriate makeup for a career women— was 
emphasized as the proper standard. 

The finale of the course was an evaluation period 
held several days before graduation. Selected Marines, 
dependents, and civilians from the depot were invit- 
ed to participate at a social hour and recruits were 
judged on their poise, courtesy, and appearance. The 
guest list changed but traditionally included, among 
others, a senior officer and his wife, several staff non- 
commissioned officers — students and staff— from 
Recruiter's School and the Personnel Administration 
School, a chaplain, and a medical officer. Individual 
grades were not given, but obvious problems and weak 
areas were noted and when necessary the recruit was 
given additional help. 14 

The course, as may be expected, was not whole- 
heartedly received at all levels. Generally speaking, the 
women drill instructors were less enthusiastic than the 
recruits and the command. Primarily they objected to 
the requirement for DIs to wear makeup while on 
duty. According to Sergeant Major Judge, who was first 
sergeant of Recruit Company, and Master Sergeant 
Bridget V. Connolly, who as a staff sergeant was a DI 



during the initial stages of the program, there was 
some muttering in the ranks. First Sergeant Judge, 
who had never before worn eye makeup, told the com- 
manding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ruth J. O'Holle- 
ran, that if her family could see her they would call 
her a "hussy" 15 In Staff Sergeant Connolly's view, it 
was an added burden on the drill instructor who had 
to be up, dressed, and in the recruit barracks before 
0500 to be expected to appear in full makeup. It also 
meant, of course, that she could not freshen up quickly 
during the day. 16 Despite these difficulties, there was 
general agreement that the Image Development 
Course improved the appearance and poise of wom- 
en Marines and achieved its intended goals. 

The third major change in women's recruit train- 
ing involved the forming period and occurred in 1968. 
In order to give drill instructors time off to rest them- 
selves physically and to prepare themselves mentally 
to make the transition from working with a graduate 
platoon to another platoon of new recruits, the ini- 
tial processing was put in the hands of other mem- 
bers of the permanent personnel unit. This team 
welcomed the new arrivals and supervised the multi- 
tude of details incidental to preparing recruits for 
training. Only on the first scheduled training day did 
the DI meet her recruits. 17 

As they have for years, the majority of recruits ar- 
rived during the night. Under the new procedures, 
they were offered a snack, and shown to their already 
made-up bunk. Overhead lights were kept off to avoid 
disturbing other sleeping recruits. The latercomers 
were allowed to sleep to the very last minute in the 
morning, getting up only in time to eat before the 
mess hall secured. While it had been proven that 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



113 



recruits react more quickly and assimilate instructions 
better when they are less tired and less frightened, old 
ways die hard, and veteran DIs believed that some- 
thing was lost in the way of initial discipline. The form- 
ing period, while still a difficult adjustment for 
civilians, was planned to instill a positive attitude 
toward Marine Corps training at the onset. 18 

Arrival at Parris Island 

These forming period procedures of 1968 bear lit- 
tle resemblance to those remembered by women Ma- 
rines who attended boot camp from 1949 to I968. In 
1949, recruits arriving by train were met by the DIs 
at Port Royal, South Carolina. In later years, the ter- 
minal point of a rail trip was Yemessee, about 26 miles 
from Parris Island. Unfortunately, the most lasting im- 
pression for many of these women arriving from north- 
ern states was the segregation of "white" from 
"colored" on the train south of Baltimore and at the 
station at Yemessee. Major Joan M. Collins remem- 
bered that in 1953, on the way to boot camp, a Puer- 
to Rican recruit, Sunny Ramos, was separated from her 
group and asked to sit in a compartment by herself. 
The women protested, but the conductor told them 
not to make any trouble. 19 

Women arriving by train were usually taken by bus 
along with male recruits to the recruit depot. If a male 

Women recruits spent long hours in the classroom 
mastering administrative subjects. GySgt Frances A. 
Curwen teaches a typing course in the early 1960s. 




DI was on hand at the station he normally succeeded 
in scaring the life out of the women, even if he totally 
ignored them and directed all his attention at the 
men. Lieutenant Colonel Gail M. Reals remembered 
that she and one other woman were the only females 
on board a bus driven by a civilian who amused him- 
self all the way from Yemessee to Parris Island asking 
the young women why they had done such a foolish 
thing and personally guaranteeing that they would 
regret it. 20 

As a rule, the bus delivered the male recruits first 
and at each stop the women witnessed the traditional 
brusque ceremony of the DI greeting his recruits for 
the first time so that by the time they arrived at the 
women's battalion, they feared the worst. 

The "worst" for the women recruits meant rush and 
pressure. Most recruits, tired and apprehensive, arrived 
after midnight, made up their bunks, dropped into 
bed, and then awoke at 0500 with the lights blazing 
and the duty NCO shouting, "Hit the deck." For sever- 
al days they were kept busy with administrative tasks 
such as endorsing orders, filling out forms, and writ- 
ing their autobiography. They received shots, a PX is- 
sue, and an initial clothing issue — normally utilities 
and exercise suits. Time was spent sewing name tags 
in their clothes, hemming the utility slacks, and learn- 
ing how to give a Marine Corps shine to their oxfords. 
Until black shoes were adopted in 1964, groups of 
recruits were taken outdoors to dye the issue brown 
a darker cordovan shade. For many women Marines, 
the first "chewing out" was brought on by spilling shoe 
dye on one of the new uniforms. 

Women Marines who were impressed by the "sharp" 
appearance of the recruiter in her attractive dress blue 
uniforms were invariably let down when, during form- 
ing, they received their clothing issue. A hold-over 
from World War II that remained in the system until 
I960 was the exercise suit of tan seersucker — a one- 
piece bloomer outfit with a matching buttoned front 
skirt appropriately nicknamed "the peanut suit." The 
World War II bib overalls, white T-shirt, and long- 
sleeve jacket made up the utility uniform until the 
mid-50s, but the most unpopular items, by far, were 
the heavy cotton lisle hose worn by WMs in training 
until 1968, and the very practical oxfords* 

These shoes, with their two-inch Cuban heels were, 
for obvious reasons, known as "grandmas." In the 1950s 



*See Chapter 14 for a discussion of woman Marine uniforms, 
1946-1977. 



114 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Recruits display issued clothing for a "junk on the bunk" inspection in the early 1960s. 



a more modern, lower heeled oxford was adopted for 
drill and certain types of work, and until the old sup- 
ply stocks ran out, each recruit was issued one pair of 
"grandmas" and was then taken by bus to Mickey's 
Bootery in the nearby city of Beaufort to purchase the 
newer shoe— which WMs naturally called "Mickeys." 
The basics of military courtesy were instilled dur- 
ing the forming period. In order to give practice in 
saluting, recruits were required to be covered at all 
times when outdoors. For a number of years, recruits 
who had not yet been issued a uniform cap were in- 
structed to wear a civilian hat or scarf, even if only go- 
ing to the clothes line behind the barracks, and so it 
was not uncommon to see a WM dressed in a peanut 
suit, hair neatly covered by a flowered scarf, render- 
ing the hand salute. 

The Daily Routine 

Traditionally, women recruits bounded from their 
bunks at 0500, ate breakfast, policed the barracks, and 
prepared for morning inspection. The daily inspections 
by the drill instructors varied — that is, personnel, bar- 
racks, locker box, or clothing rack— but always includ- 



ed general grooming. Classes were scheduled until the 
noon meal and again from 1300 to 1700. Evenings 
were devoted to studying, laundry, shoe shining, and 
letter writing. Recruits also could be found practicing 
salutes in front of a mirror or perfecting movements 
in close order drill alone or in small groups. They were 
assigned to the duty roster and took turns at stand- 
ing the watch from the end of the class day until rev- 
eille. Classes were held until noon on Saturday. 

Liberty, for many years, was granted sparingly, and 
then only to recruits visited by close family members. 
In the 1970s, as a result of a study of the woman Ma- 
rine program, a look at the basic training of the other 
services, and in order to ease the transition from recruit 
status to the environment of the first duty station, 
limited liberty hours were extended to all. Women 
recruits were authorized depot liberty Sundays and 
holidays from 1000-1500; Saturdays and Sundays pri- 
or to graduation 1330-1930; and Thursday and Friday 
of final week 1800-2000. 21 

On one night the routine differed from all the 
rest — field night. The evening before important in- 
spections (which graduated weekly from the junior 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



115 



drill instructor through all levels of the command up 
to the battalion commander) was spent in furious ac- 
tivity scrubbing and shining every inch of the barracks 
and neatly arranging locker boxes and clothing racks 
to conform to regulations. A clean white towel folded 
lengthwise in even thirds and a clean white wash cloth 
folded evenly in half and centered over the towel were 
displayed at the end of each bunk. In the squadbay, 
bunks and locker boxes were lined up exactly, and in 
the laundry, irons were arranged as precisely as Ma- 
rines in formation. In preparing for inspections, the 
recruit learned a lesson of lasting value; she learned 
the importance of team work, because the platoon 
passed or failed as a unit. Inspecting drill instructors 
and officers had their individual methods of showing 
displeasure, but few were more effective then the tech- 
nique of tearing up poorly made bunks and gather- 
ing all the gear left "adrift" and displaying it in the 
center of the squadbay. 

The outdoor equivalent of "field night" is the 
"garden party." New recruits who found garden party 
on the schedule were often genuinely disappointed 
to find rakes, clippers, and lawn mowers where they 
expected barbecue grills and hot dogs. It was one of 
the mischievous pleasures of the DI to shout, "Put on 



your peanut suits, ladies; we're going to have a garden 
party." Over the years, only the uniform changed; the 
garden party still translated into mowing, clipping, 
and trimming. 

For all of the nonstop activity of a recruit's day, it 
ended on a serene and peaceful note. A custom trac- 
ed to the early 1950s was the singing of "The Lord's 
Prayer" at taps. Colonel Hamblet, when she was Direc- 
tor of Women Marines, visited Parris Island and later 
wrote: 

. . . having heard of a custom that had developed in the 
Woman Recruit Company, I returned to hear taps. 
The bugle notes sounded: 

Day is done 
Gone the sun 
From the lakes 
From the hills 
From the sky 
All is well 
Safely rest 
God is nigh 
One by one lights in the barracks went out. At other Ma- 
rine bases a hush would then fall. But here, as the last note 
of the bugle faded in the distance, came not silence but the 
sound of voices in song. 

They started softly in the Senior Platoon area on the se- 
cond deck (floor) of the barracks, were picked up by another 



The vertical dryers, rectangular ironing tables, and stationary ironing boards found in 
a typical woman Marine barracks laundry room were well used during recruit training. 




116 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



platoon topside, then by the recruits on the first deck. The 
song swelled in volume as each group joined in, filling the 
darkened barracks and spilling over into the street outside. 
From their bunks the women recruits were singing 'The 
Lord's Prayer". They sang spontaneously, their young voices, 
untrained and unrehearsed, blended in reverence. They were 
not required to sing. They did so because they chose to. It 
had become their tradition, a new group learning by listening 
to the others. 22 

Recruit Regulations 

The recruit regulations published in 1949 scarcely 
changed over the years. There was a proper, established 
procedure for nearly every activity; deviations from the 
norm, no matter how minor, were not acceptable. A 
recruit immediately learned that she did not rise be- 
fore reveille nor sit on, rest on, or get into her bunk 
before taps. Bulletin boards were to be read several 
times daily and she initialed every roster on which her 
name appeared. She moved quickly, but did not run 
in the passageways; came to attention whenever some- 
one other than a recruit entered the squadbay; and 
called "gangway" while backing up to the bulkhead 
when someone other than a recruit approached. 23 

Only clean clothing, with all buttons buttoned, zip- 
pers zipped, and buckles buckled could be displayed. 
The one exception was a pair of untied oxfords and 
the unbuttoned raincoat to facilitate a hasty exit in 
case of fire. Unauthorized personal items were stowed 
in the luggage room. Keys, clothing, cosmetics, shoe 
polish, or notebooks left lying about were deposited 
in the "lucky box" and could be claimed only after 
the hapless recruit admitted her carelessness to her DI. 

Mail call was the highlight of a recruit's day unless 
she received contraband items from well meaning fa- 
mily and friends. Packages were opened in front of 
witnesses and any food, candy, or gum was returned 
to the sender, thrown away, or donated to the Red 
Cross. 

Smoking was limited to designated areas at speci- 
fied times; drinking beer or hard liquor was taboo; 
borrowing, lending, or giving clothing away was for- 
bidden; and hair was rolled only at prescribed times. 
Neat, clean, and orderly was the rule. Laundry bags 
were washed, bleached, starched, and ironed frequent- 
ly. Singing in the laundry was encouraged, but talk- 
ing was prohibited. That these seemingly irksome 
regulations remained virtually unchanged for so long 
a time testified to their effectiveness in teaching dis- 
cipline, respect for authority, and the value of 
teamwork. 



The Drill Instructor 

These recruits are entrusted to my care. I will train them 
to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly 
disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, 
thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and Country. I 
will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own exam- 
ple, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality and 
professional skill. 

The Drill Instructor's Pledge 1 * 

The drill instructor was the key to recruit training 
and was directly responsible for the training, physical 
fitness, discipline, welfare, and morale of her recruits 
and her junior drill instructors. The assignment was 
considered by many enlisted WMs to be the most ex- 
hausting, frustrating, yet satisfying job in the Marine 
Corps. Her role and responsibility resembled that of 
the male DI, but her training and the evolution of 
her title moved along a different path. 

Until 1976, with one short-lived exception, women 
did not attend Drill Instructor School and those in- 
volved in recruit training were officially called platoon 
sergeants or platoon leaders. WMs, themselves, un- 
officially consistently used the more familiar term of 
DI. 

Competent, mature, willing noncommissioned 
officers in excellent physical condition and with im- 
peccable military records were essential to the conduct 

Recruit learns to shine shoes from drill instrt^ctor. 




RECRUIT TRAINING 



117 



of recruit training. Due primarily to the small num- 
ber of women Marines and proportionally fewer NCOs, 
and a reluctance to release women from their primary 
occupational specialty for periods of two years — normal 
tour length for a DI — there persisted a shortage of 
women DIs. Colonel BarbaraJ. Bishop, when she was 
Director of Women Marines, 1964-1969, tried in vain 
to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement with 
the assignment branch at Headquarters whereby they 
would notify her of the impending transfer of senior 
enlisted WMs. Then, if DIs were needed at Parris Is- 
land, Colonel Bishop proposed to fill those vacancies 
on a priority basis. Her plan met with opposition and 
for many years much of the burden of training was 



carried by a group of NCOs who served two and in 
some cases three tours of duty at the Woman Recruit 
Training Battalion. 25 

The policy had normally been to assign a staff non- 
commissioned officer as the senior DI with sergeants 
or corporals as junior DIs, but, it was not uncommon 
in the early 1950s to have lower rated women in these 
jobs. The process of selection from 1949 until 1976 
was to order NCOs to the women's recruit battalion 
for screening by a medical doctor, psychiatrist, the bat- 
talion commander, the recruit company commander, 
and perhaps a battalion screening board. Having satis- 
factorily moved through this chain, a prospective DI 
began on-the-job training and was in a probationary 



'Welcome to the Pig Pen. "A drill instructor tore up the squadbay and left this message 
taped to a chair for her recruits after an unsatisfactory inspection in the early 1960s. 




118 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Each platoon had a male DI to teach close order drill and military customs and courte- 
sies. Recruits in 1961, wearing the one-piece dacron dress, render a hand salute. 



status for the period of one training cycle. Only then 
did she receive the coveted MOS 8 5 ll. 26 

With assignment of women to Drill Instructor 
School beginning in January 1976, certain procedures 
changed. The formal course was in itself a screening 
process, eliminating the need for battalion involve- 
ment; the successful graduates were immediately as- 
signed the drill instructor's MOS; and they were not 
considered to be in a probationary status. Furthermore, 
Headquarters regularly sent two or three women to 
each scheduled class, taking the Director of Women 
Marines out of the assignment business, and assuring 
a steady and more satisfactory flow of DIs into recruit 
training. 27 

Whether or not women should attend the formal 
school was heatedly debated for a number of years. 
Lieutenant Colonel Elsie Hill, twice commanding of- 
ficer of the recruit battalion, believed that the school 
would give uniformity to the training and arranged 



for five WMs to enroll at DI school in October 1955 28 
The women, Sergeant Ida J. Reinemond and Corporals 
Marion M. Moran, Edith M. Reeves, Dorothy Rzepny, 
and Lillian Hagener underwent the prescribed course 
with only one concession; they did not carry a rifle 
during the drill sessions 29 According to Lieutenant 
Colonel Hill, the women did well at school and as bat- 
talion commander, she was satisfied with their subse- 
quent performance as DIs, but Headquarters was 
evidently uneasy about a loss of femininity and the 
WM image and put an end to the idea. 30 

The issue lay dormant for 21 years, but in January 
1976, once again, five WMs entered DI school: Ser- 
geants Mary E. Gibbs and Jeanette M. Plourde and 
Corporals Victoria Goodrich, Veda R. James, and Er- 
lene A. Thomas. WMs continued to attend the course 
and were involved in all academic studies, training, 
and drill except individual combat training and the 
complete marksmanship program. They were not re- 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



119 



quired to qualify with the M-16 service rifle or the .45 
caliber pistol, but they fired them for familiarization. 
At graduation, the women graduates, in place of the 
traditional DI hat, were presented with scarlet epau- 
lets, worn by WM DIs since 1970. 31 

The DI was in direct control of the recruits in her 
platoon and shouldered the greatest responsibility in 
their training. For many years, the senior drill in- 
structor was required to be with her platoon at all 
times during the first three weeks of training. In the 
late 1960s, this requisite was eased somewhat and her 
presence was necessary at key times like clothing issue 
and inspections and at all periods of instruction where 
the recruits' health or physical well being was involved, 
such as physical fitness and swimming classes. More 
routine events could be supervised by the junior drill 
instructors. 32 

In reality, the recruit was seldom out of view of her 
DIs. One of the team was in the squadbay before rev- 
eille and again after lights out. While her charges 
slept, the DI examined the next day's schedule, made 
notes about the number of required uniform changes, 
checked transportation arrangements, filled out evalu- 
ation forms, and wrestled with administration mat- 



*!^&^ 




A drill instructor wearing scarlet epaulets in place of 
the traditional male DI hat calls cadence for recruits 
dressed in the blue utility uniform in the 1970s. 



A three-mile run concludes the fitness test taken by recruits at Parris Island in 1974. 














•**# 



120 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Lt Vera M. Jones, Recruit Company commander, ties three streamers, symbols of train- 
ing excellence, to the Platoon I A guidon, SSgt M, M. Gruetzemacher looks on in 1965. 



ters and personal problems of her recruits. Like the 
recruit, she had to launder and iron several uniforms 
and shine her shoes. For the DI the day began at 0430 
and ended well after midnight. With rare exceptions, 
she was a Marine totally committed to her task and 
accepted the fact that for two years, she would have 
very little life of her own. A DI of the early 1950s, Cor- 
poral Constance A. Shafer, wrote of her tour, 'A gruel- 
ling pace, but it had its own reward. At least one of 
the 4 platoons I had made Honor Platoon, and the 
satisfaction of seeing my hard work come to fruition 
made up for the loss of sleep." 33 Master Sergeant Bridg- 
et Connolly and Lieutenant Colonel Gail Reals, two 
of Corporal Shafer's recruits, were still on active duty 
in 1977. 

Recruit Evaluation and Awards 

The evaluation and awards program was meant to 
screen recruits for graduation as basic women Marines 
and to recognize outstanding performance. The criter- 



ia used to judge the women was much the same as 
it was in 1949, but a more sophisticated system of 
awards evolved. Individually, recruits were graded in 
three main areas: academic, performance, and atti- 
tude. The first was the easiest to document as it was 
a numerical value based on the results of objective ex- 
aminations. Performance and attitude marks are by 
nature subjective and so were derived from a compo- 
site of the entire staffs contact with the recruit, with 
emphasis on inspection results, drill aptitude, physi- 
cal fitness, weight control, image development, and 
leadership ability. 34 

In one way or another, the guidon, a flag with the 
platoon's designation carried by the platoon guide, 
had long been associated with the platoon's perfor- 
mance. New platoons normally had been identified 
by a bare guidon staff. After successful completion of 
specified inspection or milestone, pennants were ad- 
ded with appropriate ceremony. The gold guidon 
marked the junior platoon or series, and for some time 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



121 



had to be earned by passing the junior DTs inspection. 
The scarlet guidon had nearly always been awarded 
by the senior DI after a satisfactory formal inspection, 
which in 1977 was scheduled for the third week in 
training. Traditionally, poor platoon performance was 
noted by the command to furl the guidon, the ulti- 
mate sign of the DI's displeasure. 

Colorful streamers, symbols of excellence, were ad- 
ded to the WM guidon staff for the first time in March 
1968, when First Lieutenant Vera M. Jones, then 
Recruit Company commanding officer, presented 
three streamers to Platoon 1-A for achievement in 
swimming, drill, and physical fitness. 35 Streamers in 
1977 were presented in recognition of exceptional pla- 
toon performance in the areas shown in the chart else- 
where on this page. 

The Marine Corps emblem, most visible outward 
symbol of a Marine, had normally been given as an 
award rather than an unearned right to be taken for 
granted. Sometime in the 1950s the practice of issu- 
ing emblems along with the uniforms was stopped and 
the recruit had to pass the Recruit Company com- 
mander's inspection before she received the highly 
prized "globe and anchor." The emblem ceremony, be- 
ginning in 1966, had become a part of the gradua- 
tion day events. At a company formation early in the 
morning, each graduate held her emblems in her 
gloved hand and the company commander and DIs 
personally affixed them to her uniform. 35 

The American Spirit Honor Medal, highest availa- 
ble individual distinction, was given to the recruit who 
displayed, to a high degree, outstanding leadership 
qualities best expressing "The American Spirit" of 
honor, initiative, and loyalty and who set an example 
in conduct and performance of duty. The award, con- 
sisting of a medal and certificate, was made available 
by the Citizens Committee of the Army, Navy, and 
Air Force through the Department of Defense. A 
recruit who won the American Spirit Honor Medal was 




Lt Vera M. Jones awards the Marine Corps emblem, 
visible symbol of a Marine, to recruits who have pass- 
ed the company commanders inspection in 1965. 

automatically designated the Honor Graduate or Out- 
standing Recruit* and additionally received the 
Leatherneck Award and the Dress Blue Uniform 
Award. 

Private Mary E. Gillespie, in October 1950, was the 
first woman Marine to be awarded the American Spirit 
Honor Medal. 37 The uncommon excellence associat- 
ed with this medal was underscored by the fact that 
several years could pass without a recommended 
recipient. 

The Honor Graduate, known in the past as the Out- 
standing Recruit of the platoon, was the woman who 
had demonstrated the desirable attributes of a Ma- 



*The terms Honor Graduate and Outstanding Recruit have been 
used interchangeably. 



Area 


Color 


Criteria 


Physical Fitness Test 


gold 


95 percent platoon performance 


Academic 


red 


85 percent platoon performance 


Drill 


green 


250 points 


Chief DI Inspection 


purple 


75 percent platoon performance 


Series Officer Inspection 


light blue 


80 percent platoon performance 


CO, WRTC Inspection 


blue 


85 percent platoon performance 


The chart is based on the 1976 WRTC SOP. Streamer colors and 


criteria have varied slightly over the years. 



122 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




PFC Sonia Nelson, in 1962, was the first woman Honor Graduate to receive the Leather- 
neck Dress Blue Uniform Award. LtCol Doris V. Kleberger makes the presentation while 
Recruit Company Commander, Capt Mary L Vertalino (later Stremlow), looks on. 



RECRUIT TRAINING 



123 




A 1975 air view of newly constructed woman Marine recruit complex at V arris Island. 



rine to a degree not displayed by any other member 
of the platoon. The certificate accompanying this 
award noted not only her academic accomplishment, 
but leadership ability, integrity, honor, and loyalty. 

For many years Leatherneck magazine awarded a 
complete dress blue uniform with all accessories to the 
outstanding male recruit of each platoon. In 1962, the 
WM DIs, feeling that their recruits were slighted, 
looked into the matter, and since that time, women 
have been included in this tradition. Private First Class 
Sonia Nelson, Platoon 15 -A, meritoriously promoted 
at graduation in December 1962, was the first Honor 
Graduate to receive the Leatherneck Dress Blue Uni- 
form award. 38 Leatherneck magazine, in 1972, changed 
the Honor Graduate award to a wristwatch and the 
Dress Blue Uniform Award was thereafter presented 
by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. 



Families and friends were encouraged to attend the 
graduation exercises — an event marked by pride, hap- 
piness, and tears. Recruits laughed and cried as they 
reminisced about their boot camp days, and said fare- 
well to platoon mates; they sang joyously; and they 
stepped off smartly as they marched together for the 
last time. Graduation, for the most part, included 
some sort of outdoor review or drill exhibition. For a 
brief time, 1960-1963, the ceremony was held in a class- 
room. On 25 September 1963, however, Platoon 11-A 
began a new tradition by holding its final review on 
the parade field behind building 914 in the old WM 
area. 39 

WM Complex 

By 1977, where the yellow- stuccoed barracks, home 
of the 3d Recruit Training Battalion and the Women 
Recruit Training Battalion, once stood, only open 



124 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



fields were found. Two buildings remained. No. 900, 
formerly the mess hall, later a craft shop, and No. 903, 
which housed the senior series of WM recruits. The 
junior series was billeted in the WM complex, built 
within view of the old area. 

Suggestions had been made to rehabilitate and air- 
condition the World War II barracks, but the public 
works officer found that the cost would exceed 50 per- 
cent of the replacement value of the buildings. Con- 
sequently, at a meeting on 27 July 1967 the Depot 
Development Board directed that an entire new com- 
plex for WMs be programmed at Parris Island. 40 

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on 26 Janu- 
ary 1973 and construction was begun. For two years 
the women Marines watched patiently across the field. 
Finally on 8 February 1975, they made the big move. 41 
The new complex, completely self-contained, was 
designed to house Parris Island's permanent women 
personnel as well as the women recruits. In actuality, 
increases in strength of WMs resulted in the reten- 
tion of the old barracks for recruits. By the time the 
complex was opened, plans were already underway for 
an addition. 42 

Among the facilities included in the WM complex 
were a fully equipped gymnasium, headquarters areas 
for the battalion and recruit company, a dining facili- 
ty, storage areas, a conference room, four classrooms, 
a laundromat, clothing issue area, sickbay, tennis 



courts, volleyball court, and television and telephones 
on each level of the three-story barracks. The struc- 
ture was built in a square, leaving a central courtyard 
area open with the flagpole in front of the battalion 
headquarters. Permanent personnel enjoyed a patio 
with a fountain, rooms of one to three occupants, and 
new, motel-like furnishings. Beds replaced metal 
bunks, closets replaced lockers, and the women were 
allowed to decorate their rooms with colorful bed 
spreads, rugs, flowers, photographs, and other personal 
touches. Recruits in 1977 still lived in austere, albeit 
more modern and comfortable, squadbays. 

Command Reorganized 

The Woman Recruit Training Battalion became the 
Woman Recruit Training Command on 28 May 1976 
when Headquarters Company was disestablished. Con- 
sistent with Marine Corps-wide policy at the time, per- 
sonnel assigned to Headquarters Company were 
administratively transferred to the command under 
which their work section fell, but remained billeted 
in the WM complex. Thus reorganization efforts com- 
pleted a full cycle. In February 1949 the 3d Recruit 
Training Battalion, under Captain Henderson, con- 
sisted of one company of 50 recruits and the 15 WMs 
to train them. In May 1976 Woman Recruit Training 
Command, once again embodied only a recruit com- 
pany, but of 300 recruits and 32 WMs to train them. 



CHAPTER 10 

Officer Training 

Location— Training Program—Traditions— Awards— 1973-1977— Towards Total Integration 
Second Platoon, Company C, BC 3-77 



Marine officer training, conducted at Quantico, Vir- 
ginia, is the sum of the precommissioning officer can- 
didate course and the postcommissioning basic course. 
From 1949 to 1973 the women trained separately from 
the men, under the auspices of a women's unit, called 
at various times: Woman Officer Training Detachment 
(1949-1955), Women Marines Training Detachment 
(1955-1958), Women Marines Detachment 
(1958-1965), and Woman Officer School (1965-1974). 
Customarily, a woman lieutenant colonel, heading a 
female staff, was responsible for the administration 
and training of the students. From 1949 to 1954 the 
Woman Officer Training. Detachment was under the 
control of The Basic School for matters pertaining to 
training, and under Headquarters Battalion, Marine 
Corps Schools for all else* The name was changed to 
Women Marines Training Detachment in 1955 and the 
G-3, Marine Corps Schools, took over the responsi- 
bilities formerly held by The Basic School. 

For nearly two years, until 17 December 1958, the 
woman Marine company, Company D, made up of the 
post troops was a component of Headquarters Battal- 
ion. Then the Women Marines Detachment was acti- 
vated, a two-part women's unit composed of 
Headquarters Company and the Woman Officer Train- 
ing Class. The name changed once more in 1965 to 
the Woman Officer School and the training functions 
came under the cognizance of the Marine Corps Edu- 
cation Center, but the woman Marine company re- 
mained a part of the unit. 

Organizationally, the most significant change came 
on 12 June 1973 when the Woman Officer School was 
designated a school under the Education Center, and 
not a command. The former commanding officer, 
Lieutenant Colonel Carolyn J. Walsh, became the 
director and the functions of the woman Marine com- 
pany were transferred to Headquarters Battalion where 
they first began in the days before Korea. On 20 De- 
cember 1974, the Woman Officer School was disestab- 
lished; the training of candidates became the 



*The command at Quantico was reorganized in 1%8, and the 
title was changed from Marine Corps Schools to Marine Corps De- 
velopment and Education Command. 



responsibility of the formerly all-male Officer Candi- 
dates School; and the newly commissioned women 
lieutenants moved to The Basic School at Camp Bar- 
rett, an outpost of the main command at Quantico. 

Location 

Women Marine officers lived and trained from 1948 
to 1973 in the southeast corner of the base in an area 
bordered on one side by the Potomac River and on 
another by the town of Quantico. The commanding 
officer and her staff moved from Building 3091 across 
from the mess hall to 3094 down the street and back 
again. For almost the entire period, candidates were 
quartered in Barracks 3076. Suitable billeting space 
for the women once commissioned always posed a 
problem as the choices were limited. Some classes of 
student officers remained in the same barracks, liv- 
ing in open squadbays as they had as candidates; 
others moved to Building 3091 where semiprivate 
rooms were available, if there were not too many staff 
noncommissioned officers on board. A few classes were 
quartered at the Cinder City BOQ which in later years 
became the base Hostess House. 

This perplexing problem was brought on by the 
small number of classes involved. Never did more than 
two classes of officer candidates train in one year, and 
more often there was only one. Since the billeting 
space was vacant for as much as six months of the year, 
it was not economical to set aside quarters for the wom- 
en lieutenants comparable to the BOQs enjoyed by 
the men. 

The WM area at Quantico was nearly self-contained: 
barracks, mess hall, small dispensary (when officer can- 
didates were on board), drill field, and classroom. Early 
classes, at least until the mid-1950s, received their uni- 
form issue in the sweltering hut behind the barracks 
while later groups were bused mainside to the cloth- 
ing warehouse. 

Whenever available, the air-conditioned classrooms 
of Breckenridge or Geiger Halls were used rather than 
the uncomfortable barracks classroom. Lieutenant 
Colonel Emma H. Clowers, twice commanding officer 

of the training detachment, wrote: 

125 



126 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




College students and graduates arrive at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in 
June 1953 to begin their summer training program with the Women Officers Training 
Class, The students being checked in by staff member WO Ruth L. Wood are (left to 
right) future Cols Ellen B, Moroney and Mary L. Vertalino, and June E. Palmer, Joan 
G. Bantzhaff, Mary E. Lane, Helen L, Fiocca, Jean M. Byrnes, and Antoinette S. Willard. 



I remember how we begged and pleaded, and yes, fought 
to get just one air-conditioned classroom — in the barracks 
or anywhere — large enough to accommodate the WOTC stu- 
dents during those hot summer days of training. And how 
we envied Educational Center and even Basic School, with 
their fine air-conditioned, well designed classrooms, with 
all necessary training aids and facilities. 1 

Again the small numbers involved mitigated against 
any large expenditures of money. The male programs 
not only trained many times the number of candi- 
dates, but they operated on a year-round schedule, 
making efficient use of all facilities. 

Training Program 

Judging from the numerous organizational ad- 
justments, one would expect to find parallel changes 
in the training of officer candidates, but that did not 



generally happen. With only one exception, the train- 
ing of women lieutenants was done on a schedule of 
12 weeks' candidates training and six weeks' basic 
course from 1949 until 1962. In 1951, because of the 
Korean War and the critical shortage of Marines, the 
basic course was shortened to four weeks. The 12 weeks 
precommissioning portion did not vary for the 13 -year 
period. It was divided into a junior and senior course 
with college sophomores eligible to attend the first 
six weeks, and college seniors and graduates complet- 
ing the entire course in one summer. The sophomore 
who successfully made it through the junior phase was 
then able to return another summer to finish the 
senior phase. College graduates and former enlisted 
women were commissioned and continued on to the 
basic course located in the same area, and conducted 
by the same staff as the candidate training. 



OFFICER TRAINING 



127 



Several changes were made from 1962 to 1973 which 
resulted in a shortened candidate course varying from 
seven to 10 weeks and a lengthened basic course of 
up to nine weeks. 

During the initial stages of training, the daily rou- 
tine, candidate regulations, and course material was 
not significantly different from what was found in 
recruit training. The most obvious dissimilarities were 
the assignment of officer platoon leaders at Quantico 
versus the women platoon sergeants at Parris Island 
and the liberty granted to candidates. 

At Quantico, the goal was twofold: first, to produce 
a basic Marine and develop her leadership potential. 
Secondly, the candidate course was considered a 
screening process, a place to observe each potential 
new woman officer. To this end, officer candidates were 
allowed a measure of freedom in the form of liberty 
one or two nights a week and on weekends. Those with 
good sense used it wisely. Additionally, candidates 
were given a number of leadership assignments, duties 
which set each woman apart from the group and which 



demanded, in their execution, the use of good judge- 
ment, initiative, and force. 

After commissioning, during the phase of training 
originally known as the Woman Officer Indoctrina- 
tion Course (WOIC) and in 1962 changed to the 
Woman Officer Basic Course (WOBC), the lieutenants 
were given extra doses of freedom and responsibility. 
They arose, not at reveille, but in time to accomplish 
their chores and be ready for inspection at the appoint- 
ed minute. At night, they turned in not at lights out, 
but in time to get sufficient rest to prepare them for 
a day of training. Classroom lectures and demonstra- 
tions emphasized their role as a leader and much time 
was spent in problem-solving seminars, often chaired 
by the commanding officer. The second lieutenants 
accompanied the regularly assigned duty officer on her 
tours, took personnel and barracks inspections, and 
delivered prepared lectures to their classmates. 

Traditions 
Traditions of the type seen at recruit training never 
developed around either the officer candidate course 



"Hitting the beach" are members of the Women Officers Training Class at the Marine 
Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, during an amphibious landing exercise in 1959 < 




128 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Officer candidates play volleyball behind the barracks at Quantico in the early 1950s. 



or the basic course. Again, numbers may be a factor. 
With only one class in session at a time, there was no 
opportunity for a junior platoon to emulate a senior 
platoon. The staff members closest to the candidates, 
the platoon leaders, and instructors, seldom worked 
with more than one platoon. At Parris Island, on the 
other hand, the drill instructors, both senior and 
junior, graduated one platoon and immediately picked 
up another. There was a thread of continuity unknown 
at Quantico. 

There were, however, two occasions generally 
remembered by officers commissioned in the 1950s 
and 1960s. The first was the WOTC picnic held just 
before graduation, and highlighted by the students' 
impersonations of staff members. The second was the 
official call made by the lieutenants at the home of 
the commanding officer. 

A long-standing military custom held that each of- 
ficer, upon arriving at a new base should call, formally, 
on his commanding officer. Protocol dictated that the 
visit be made in civilian clothes with a hat (although 
some authorities called for the dress uniform); the visit 
should last precisely 20 minutes; and the proper num- 
ber of engraved calling cards had to be deposited in 
a waiting tray. Until the 1970s the tradition was rigidly 
adhered to at the Quantico women's detachment. It 
gave the second lieutenants an opportunity to prac- 
tice the procedure and gave the commanding officer 



a chance to see the young officer in a somewhat for- 
mal social situation. 

Officer candidates were advised to bring a hat to 
training, but not many complied. The few hats per 

DIs were the only male members on the staff of the 
Woman Officer Candidate School. In this 1955 pho- 
tograph the drill instructor shows a candidate the 
proper distance she must maintain while marching. 




OFFICER TRAINING 



129 



platoon made many calls on the commanding officer. 
The students were scheduled to call in small groups 
and as one contingent left, their hats were passed on 
to those waiting outside. The commanding officer, 
meanwhile, greeted each guest, with a straight face 
and an inner smile. White gloves, often in short sup- 
ply, were sometimes doled out one glove per student, 
each one trying to hold the single glove as inconspic- 
uously as possible. 

At the call, drinks were offered and although a se- 
cond was suggested, the lieutenants were expected to 
refuse and to bring the call gracefully to a close. Some- 
times the commanding officer would tactfully help, 
but often the young women were on their own to ex- 
cuse themselves, say goodbye, and drop their cards as 
if they did that sort of thing every day. As awkward 
as the new officers felt, it probably never occurred to 
them that at times the commanding officer was equal- 
ly uneasy. Colonel Hamblet recalled her tour at the 
Woman Officer Training Detachment in 1951 when 
she presided at the formal calls in her suite at the 
senior officers' BOQ, Harry Lee Hall. Major Dorothy 
M. Knox, the executive officer, was there to help and 
the two, somewhat apprehensively, awaited the arrival 
of the second lieutenants. The meeting got off to a 



poor start when one of the guests was asked if she 
would like to remove her coat, and she answered she 
was not wearing one — she had on a coat-styled dress. 2 
By the 1970s, the calls became far more casual, even 
replaced by group cookouts at the home of the com- 
manding officer. When the training of women officers 
was integrated with the male officers, large groups 
made calls in dress uniforms at one of the officers' 
clubs on the base. 

Awards 

Awards for honor graduates of the officer candidate 
and basic courses have varied with none standing out 
in the manner of a tradition. The Marine Corps As- 
sociation has from time to time given wrist watches 
or dress emblems to the candidate finishing first in 
her class. The Women Marines Association, for some 
years, presented the honor woman with a statuette of 
Molly Marine. 

1973-1977 

The Woman Officer Candidate Course and Wom- 
an Officer Basic Course underwent numerous stylis- 
tic but no philosophical changes for 25 years. It must 
be said that women officers were being prepared for 
the limited duties they were allowed to perform. The 



Officer candidates shared a messhall with the permanent personnel of the WM Com- 
pany, The future lieutenants could be identified by the "OC" pins worn on their lapels. 





mm 




130 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Navy nurse "Miss Mattie" innoculates officer candidate 
Nancy A, Carroll in the woman Marine dispensary at 
Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in October 1937. 



expanded role played by women in the Corps in the 
years after the Pepper Board, increased interest in 
careers even by married women officers, improved 
retention, and unprecedented procurement success, 
all led to some new thinking about the training of 
women. It also happened that in 1972 the Comman- 
dant of the Marine Corps, General Cushman, direct- 
ed the Marine Corps Development and Education 
Command at Quantico to convene a panel to study 
the programs and goals for the education of Marines 
to determine if they, in fact, supported Marine Corps 
needs. 3 The results, submitted on 31 May 1972 by the 
chairman, Colonel William F. Saunders, Jr., included 
the recommendation that when facilities permitted the 
WOBC and The Basic School should be merged into 
a single command and male and female officer can- 
didates be trained in a single course. The action would 
mean the disestablishment of WOS and the activa- 
tion of a woman Marine company in Headquarters 
Battalion, MCDEC 4 

Regarding the section of the study pertaining to the 
women's schools, the Commandant, on 20 February 
1973, approved the idea to relocate WOBC to Camp 
Barrett when facilities would allow and the integra- 
tion of portions of the instruction given by the two 
schools. He specifically stated, "The disestablishment 
of the Woman Officer School is not anticipated." 5 His 
final words, "The study . . .will have far-reaching im- 
pact on shaping Marine Corps professional and aca- 



The major part of the candidate's day was spent in the classroom. The women pictured 
here wearing the two-piece seersucker uniform and cotton lisle hose are members of the 
first post-World War II Woman Officer Training Class held at Quantico, in 1949* 




OFFICER TRAINING 



131 




Candidates board a "cattle car 11 for weekly swimming class at Quantico in late 1950s. 



demic education in the future," 6 proved prophetic for 
women Marines. 

Lieutenant General Robert P. Keller, Commanding 
General, MCDEC, finding the operation of WOS as 
a separate entity to be inefficient, transferred the com- 
pany of women Marines from the cognizance of WOS 
to Headquarters Battalion as Company B on 11 June 
19737 The next day WOS was disestablished as a com- 
mand and redesignated as a school within the educa- 
tion center, and its commanding officer became the 
director. 

Concurrently, the administration but not the train- 
ing of women officer candidates was placed under the 
control of the Director of the Officer Candidates 
School. The 32d Woman Officer Candidate Class 
(WOCC) was entered into the records as Company W, 
with both WOS and the Officer Candidates School 
performing the administration. On 13 August 1973, 
the academic section of WOS moved to The Basic 
School and two days later the newly commissioned 
officers of the 3 2d WOBC moved into quarters at 
Graves Hall, Camp Barrett. 8 From that time until 
January 1977 the women officer students were trained 
in separate, independent companies, receiving selected 
academic and leadership instruction from The Basic 
School staff. Course curriculum varied in length from 
10 to 12 weeks. 

Closer ties were made with the Officer Candidates 



School when the reporting date for the 35th WOCC 
was scheduled so that its graduation date would coin- 
cide with that of the 90th OCC on 20 December 1974. 
The two separate classes shared related training, par- 
ticipated in a combined parade on 19 December 1974 

Future BGen Margaret A. Brewer, then a captain, in- 
spects officer candidates at MCS, Quantico in 1959- 




132 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



at Brown Field, and graduated together the follow- 
ing day. Once again, to save personnel and to avoid 
duplication of training effort, the Commanding 
General, MCDEC, had recommended that WOS be 
dissolved, suggesting 20 December, graduation day of 
the 35th WOCC, as a target date. 9 Accordingly, WOS 
was disestablished and the WOCC and the WOBC 
were maintained as separate courses under the direc- 
tion of the Officer Candidates School and The Basic 
School respectively. 

Towards Total Integration 

At The Basic School, Company L (Lima Company), 
became the company of student women officers. In 
1976 Major Barbara E. Dolyak, in the course of being 
briefed for her duties as company commander, ques- 
tioned the differences in training given male and fe- 
male officers. At the time, WOBC was 12 weeks 
compared to 26 weeks for the men's basic course. Just 
as she was wondering, "Why can't the women do it?," 10 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Wil- 
son, published White Letter No. 5-76 on the subject 
of Women Marines, and addressed it to all general 
officers, commanding officers, and officers in charge. 1 [ 
In it he stressed the fact that increased opportunities 

In order to pass the swimming qualification test all 
1960s women officer candidates were required to jump 
from the high platform into the pool at Quantico. 





Q^l SHI sns ifli bhi 




Daily personnel inspection was held in officer can- 
didate barracks at Quantico, Virginia, in 1960s. 

for women demanded positive leadership and manage- 
ment action on the part of commanders relative to 
their assignment, training, utilization, and welfare. He 
suggested that the requirement for separate women's 
units be reviewed, and continued, "In the same view, 
commanders who are responsible for the conduct of 
professional schools should review curricula to ensure 
that the training offered prepares Marines to lead, ir- 
respective of sex." 12 

The promulgation of the White Letter prompted 
Colonel Clyde D. Dean, Commanding Officer at The 
Basic School, to discuss its possible ramifications with 
Major Dolyak. And so, at this time, the summer of 
1976, the thought of combined training for men and 
women officers was in the serious talking stage. It 
gained momentum with the arrival in August of the 
lieutenants of the 38th WOBC, several of whom had 
completed totally integrated Naval Reserve Officers' 
Training Corps (NROTC) in college. In Major Dolyak's 
words, 'These women were ready to go." 13 They were 
enthusiastic and like a good many women of their 
generation, they expected a more integrated training 
program. 

During a talk to the students of TBS, the Com- 
manding General of MCDEC, Lieutenant General 
Joseph C. Fegan, Jr., was questioned by the women 
on their abbreviated course. They were not satisfied 
with the answer. Later, participating in a combined 
field exercise which required carrying but not firing 



OFFICER TRAINING 



133 



a weapon, the women were incensed when they were 
issued rubber rifles. 

Coincidentally, Lieutenant Colonel Edward M. 
Mockler, at The Basic School, was conducting a review 
of the program of instruction for male lieutenants. 
Traditionally, the mission of the school had been to: 

. . . educate newly commissioned officers in the high stan- 
dards of professional knowledge, esprit de corps and leader- 
ship traditional in the Marine Corps to prepare them for 
duties of a company grade officer in the Fleet Marine Force, 
with particular emphasis on duties of a rifle platoon com- 
mander. 14 

However, in 1976, only 18 percent of the newly 
commissioned male officers were classified as infan- 
try officers, and in 1977 the projection was to be only 
12 percent. The remaining 82 percent were assigned 
to aviation, combat support, and combat service ele- 
ments, all of whom exist solely to support the infan- 
try unit. Plans were being made to shorten the male 
officer basic course from 26 weeks to 21 weeks and to 



create an advanced infantry officer course as follow- 
on training for those assigned an infantry MOS. In this 
way, all male officers, sharing a common education 
and mindful of the interdependence between com- 
bat and support units, would be better prepared to 
lead the Marines under their command. 

In the course of staff briefings on the reduced syl- 
labus, Major Dolyak posed the incisive question, "If 
it is essential that male Marine lawyers and supply 
officers share this commonality of experience with the 
infantryman, why isn't it important for the women?" 15 
Lieutenant Colonel Mockler responded, "You've got 
me, I don't have a logical answer." 16 

In Lieutenant Colonel Dolyak 's view, that was the 
turning point in the training of women officers. Her 
question was mulled over and discussed but not im- 
mediately acted upon. 

The Basic School carried through with the proposal 
for a 21-week course, briefing first Brigadier General 
Paul X. Kelley, Director of the Education Center and 



Future Col VeaJ. Smith (left), then an officer candidate, takes a sailing lesson from Lt 
Patsy A. Tioilley, shown hoisting the sail at the Quantico docks in the summer of 1957. 




134 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Grooming instructor, Lt Ruth Walsh (later Woidyla) 
conducts class in personal makeup for newly com- 
missioned women officers at Quantico, in April l%9- 

then Lieutenant General Fegan on 20 October 1976. 
The plan was sent to the Commandant in early 
November 1976, and on the 24th it was approved in 
concept. The possibility of a combined male/female 
class was not yet broached in either briefings or cor- 
respondence. 

During November and December, The Basic School 
staff reviewed the new 21-week syllabus with an eye 
toward a combined class. With this in mind, Major 
Dolyak visited the United States Naval Academy and 
the Army's combined Officer Candidates School at 
Fort Benning, Georgia, to discuss lessons they had 
learned in the process of integrating training. Then, 
on 20 December, Lieutenant General Fegan wrote the 
Commandant of his intention to conduct a pilot con- 
solidated male/female Basic Course beginning with 
Basic Class 3-77 (BC 3-77) on 4 January 1977. 17 The 
Commandant's White Letter 5-76 was referenced as 
the basis for an evaluation of the training at TBS. The 
conclusion drawn was that the 60-day course for wom- 
en was not comparable to the 105 -day course offered 
male officers. General Fegan reasoned: 

In order for the woman officer to provide the Marines un- 
der her command with knowledgeable, professional leader- 
ship, it is considered that she, too, must develop an awareness 



and understanding of such fundamental subjects as the Fleet 
Marine Force, Marine air-ground task forces, and the field 
environment. 18 

Timing was crucial. WOBC-39 was scheduled to be- 
gin in two weeks on 4 January and there would not 
be another class of women until August. Quantico in- 
tended to move quickly and needed waivers of Ma- 
rine Corps policies that prohibited women from firing 
the rifle and pistol for qualification and from par- 
ticipating in field exercises. There was never any in- 
tent to train women for combat, but, rather, ". . . to 
provide each woman officer with . . . commonality 
of origin, experience, and education in order to 
broaden her perspective and make her a more effec- 
tive leader of those Marines placed in her charge." 19 

In reply to General Fegan's letter, the Commandant 
stated his commitment to preparing women for their 
increasing duties and responsibilities associated with 
their support role. But, he added, " . . in conducting 
the pilot program, due consideration must be given 
to the noncombatant role of women and to the phys- 
iological differences between men and women." 20 
Regarding weapons and tactics skills, guidance dictated 
an emphsis on orientation, familiarization, and defen- 
sive training. 

The fact that the women lieutenants had not 
received comparable physical conditioning during the 

Officer candidates prepare for inspection with a coin 
and a ruler. Blankets pulled tightly enough to allow 
the coin to bounce and an eight-inch top sheet fold 
are two marks of a properly made military bunk. 




OFFICER TRAINING 



135 




Women lieutenants of the 2d Platoon, Company C, the first integrated Basic School 
unit, debark an am track during exercises at Quantico, Virginia, on 20 April 1977. 



candidate course was of some concern to all parties. 
For the pilot program, the women participated in all 
exercises but were graded on the physical fitness pro- 
gram for WMs in which they ran one and one-half 
miles rather than the three-mile course prescribed for 
men. And, the obstacle course grades were weighted 
differently. Because of these limitations, as well as the 
experimental nature of the combined class, the class 
standings were delineated by sex. 

Second Platoon, Company C, BC 3-77 
(January 1977-26 May 1977) 

The second platoon, Company C, BC 3-77, under 
staff platoon commander Captain Robin L. Austin, 
plunged into a training course made up of such sub- 
jects as basic tactics, patrolling, vertical envelopment 
operations, tank-infantry operations, amphibious 
warfare, physical training, aviation and ground sup- 



port, infantry weapons, supporting arms, land navi- 
gation, military law, communications, and combat 
intelligence. The 22 women were divided into groups 
of five or six and attached to the remaining five male 
platoons for field exercises. In all, Company C (Charlie 
Company) was made up of 243 male and 22 female 
lieutenants commanded by Major Guy A. Pete, Jr. 
Nicknamed after a popular 1977 TV show based on 
the experiences of three women detectives, 2d platoon 
became known as "Charlie's Angels." 

Aside from exposure to field conditions, the wom- 
en gained first-hand experience in leadership posi- 
tions. They took their turns as platoon sergeants, squad 
leaders, and guides, which gave them heretofore out- 
of-reach practice in leading men and developing the 
techniques and tact necessary in dealing with problems 
men encounter as Marines. Previously, women lieu- 



136 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



tenants took over male-dominated sections without 
having this experience to fall back on. 

Like thousands of male lieutenants before them, the 
WMs took part in the Basic School Landing Exercise 
(BaScoLEx) in which a company of student officers 
storms ashore on Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune dur- 
ing a practice amphibious assault. To their consterna- 
tion the women were bused from Quantico to Camp 
Lejeune while the men made the trip by sea. The law 
forbade their service on board ship, so when at 0900, 
20 April 1977, about 200 male lieutenants swept across 
Onslow Beach, they were confronted by the 2d Pla- 
toon (women) and the 5 th Platoon (men) playing the 
role of inland aggressors. 

The new twist to the BaScoLEx prompted a num- 
ber of remarks of a sexist nature from the men. A few 
said the women should not be in the field at all. 
Others thought it unfair that the law prevented them 
from taking part in the entire exercise. Most of the 
men, at any rate, seemed to support the women's ef- 
forts and liked to see them do well in the field. 

The platoon commander, Captain Austin, ac- 
knowledged some prejudice in the company, but she 
also cited a contradictory incident which had occurred 
three days before the BaScoLEx. "We all completed 
a 12 -mile forced march and 4- mile run," she explained. 
"Following the run, a male lieutenant regarded as the 
company's worst chauvinist, gave us a smile and the 
okay sign. We felt accepted." 21 

There were some problems at the outset, most of 
which were expected. The women tended to straggle 
and bring up the rear on the long marches, but even- 
tually made it. Some suffered stress fractures of the 
lower leg just as the women at the military academies 
had. A woman lieutenant on crutches was not an un- 
familiar sight. As the pilot program progressed, em- 
phasis on conditioning was stressed during scheduled 
periods of physical training and by the midpoint of 
the program the female officer students were able to 



keep up with their male counterparts during field 
problems, conditioning hikes, and company runs. 22 

One factor that had not been anticipated and that 
affected training to a degree was the intense and con- 
tinuous interest of the news media. Initial stories were 
expected, but not 21 weeks of interminable coverage. 
It became tiring for the women, distracting for the 
men, and a source of resentment dividing the sexes. 
Charlie Company found itself on the front page of The 
Washington Post and in newspapers around the world. 
Brigadier General Kelley was questioned repeatedly 
on the purpose of the combined training. He summed 
up the prevailing philosophy, saying: 

Our decision is based on a firm conviction that our young 
women officers must be informed on all facets of our Corps, 
to include rigors of field environment, if we expect them 
to fulfill the broad variety of tasks we have and will assign 
to them in our Fleet Marine Force. 23 

The members of the history-making 2d Platoon, 
Company C, BC 3-77 were: 24 

Second Lieutenant Linds L. Belanger 
Second Lieutenant Christine A. Benson 
Second Lieutenant Patricia P. Blaha 
Second Lieutenant Diana C. Day 
Second Lieutenant Mary A. Devlin 
Second Lieutenant June M. Dignan 
Second Lieutenant Colleen M. Flynn 
Second Lieutenant Robin C. Garrett 
Second Lieutenant Megan A. Gillespie 
Second Lieutenant Gayle W. Hantey 
Second Lieutenant Georgia J. Jobusch 
Second Lieutenant Bonnie J. Joseph 
Second Lieutenant Rosa K. Knight 
Second Lieutenant Janie D. Loftis 
Second Lieutenant Bonnie L. MacPherson 
Second Lieutenant Jennifer J. Martell 
Second Lieutenant Ann M. Milinovich 
Second Lieutenant Angelica V. Ritscher 
Second Lieutenant Judith C. Shaw 
Second Lieutenant Gloria M. Stottlemyre 
Second Lieutenant Jo Ann Taylor 



CHAPTER 11 

Administration of Women 

Supervision and Guidance of Women Marines —Barracks —Daily Routine —Discipline 



The Woman Marine Company was long a standard 
unit on posts and stations wherever WMs served. It 
was Colonel Towle's expressed policy that no woman 
Marine would serve alone and that a woman officer 
would be assigned wherever enlisted women were lo- 
cated. 1 Since it was bothersome to arrange billeting 
for a small number of women, it naturally evolved that 
women were only assigned to bases that could utilize 
and support a sizable number and where women could 
be organized into a single WM unit. Women Marines 
have long been considered an integral part of the Ma- 
rine Corps, and the WM company was fitted into the 
existing command structure. For administrative pur- 
poses all WMs were carried on the rolls of the Wom- 
an Marine Company, which normally was part of 
Headquarters or Headquarters and Service Battalion. 
The table of organization of a typical WM company 
indicated only the personnel required to command 
and administer it: the commanding officer, the ex- 
ecutive officer, the first sergeant, clerks, and a police 
and property NCO. The strength of the company bore 
no relation to the table of organization as the women 
making up the company were filling other authoriz- 
ed billets throughout the base. 

There has been a certain amount of confusion over 
the name of WM units. Colonel Hamblet, when she 
was Director of Women Marines, settled the issue in 
1958, drawing attention to the variety of titles in ex- 
istence. She cited such examples as Women Marine 
Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camp 
Pendleton; Women Marines Detachment Two, Marine 
Corps Air Station, Cherry Point; and Woman Marine 
Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Ma- 
rine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. In the interest 
of uniformity, it was decided to use the words "Wom- 
an" with an "a" and "Marine" without an "s" in the 
title designations. 2 Once in a while the WM compa- 
nies were given letter names — most often Company 
D, which lent itself to the nickname, "Dolly Compa- 
ny." In one instance, at Pearl Harbor in 1952-1956, the 
women Marines were Company A— no recorded nick- 
name. At Marine Corps air stations, the women were 
organized into a detachment, which was a squadron- 
level unit. In these cases, the table of organization 



called for a sergeant major rather than a first sergeant. 
Administratively, this plan of grouping all WMs into 
one company while they worked throughout the com- 
mand, differed from the organization of male Marines 
who were attached to a company within the same bat- 
talion for which they worked. For the male Marine, 
his work supervisor and his company commander were 
in the same chain of command; for the WM, her work 
supervisor could belong to one battalion while her 
commanding officer belonged to another. A cooper- 
ative spirit among commands was absolutely essential 
since often the interests of the work supervisor and 
those of the commanding officer clashed. Leave and 
liberty, for example, were granted by the command- 
ing officer, based upon a written release by the work 
supervisor. Company duty assignments, inspections, 
and barracks field nights infringed on women's work 
responsibilities and vice versa. On matters of dis- 
cipline, if a work supervisor put a woman on report, 
it was handled not within his chain of command, but 
through her company and, when necessary, battalion. 

In spite of these areas of potential conflict, the sys- 
tem worked relatively smoothly from 1948 until 1974 
when an emphasis on a "total Marine Corps" brought 
into question the need for separate women's com- 
mands. An ad hoc committee met in 1973 and made 
a number of proposals which opened new career op- 
portunities for women in the Marine Corps and also 
recommended changes in policies that tend to set the 
women apart as if a separate entity. As women moved 
into more and more previously all-male fields, com- 
manders challenged the tradition of woman Marine 
companies. From posts and stations came the sugges- 
tion to disband the units and to treat the women as 
all other Marines. The Commandant's White Letter 
No. 5-76 also addressed this matter: 

With the achievement of more complete integration of 
women, the requirement for separate women's units should 
be reviewed. Positive benefits can be derived from assign- 
ing women Marines administratively to their duty units. Dur- 
ing transition periods, you may find it desirable to establish 
additional duty billets for a woman officer or staff noncom- 
missioned officer to work as "Special Assistants" in provid- 
ing guidance relative to woman Marine matters. 3 

137 



138 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




following a long-standing tradition, the visiting Director of Women Marines, ColKather- 
ine A. Towle, is entertained at a tea held in the barracks at P arris Island in 195 L The 
colonel is flanked by MSgt Lotus T. Mort (left) and Ma/ Nita Bob Warner (right). 



In June 1977 only three WM companies remain- 
ed—at Henderson Hall, at Norfolk, and at Camp 
Lejeune. The others had been deactivated upon the 
request and justification of the commanding gener- 
als of the bases at which the WM units had been 
located. 

Where no woman Marine company existed, wom- 
en were administratively attached to the unit for which 
they worked, but the billeting was handled in one of 
several ways. They could be billeted in a barracks which 
came under the jurisdiction of the command to which 
they were assigned. A prime example was Base Materiel 
Battalion at Camp Lejeune, where in 1976 the com- 
manding officer, Lieutenant Colonel George J. Bal- 
lard, asked to have the WMs working in his battalion 
transferred to, and billeted with his unit. Although 
a company for all other WMs was still maintained, the 



women of Base Materiel Battalion were transferred. 
The battalion occupied a new motel-like barracks in 
which all rooms had outside entrances. Lounges, laun- 
dries, and other common areas were shared by men 
and women. The WMs, as was their habit, decorated 
their rooms and displayed colored towels, and accor- 
ding to Major Gerald W. Sims, the executive officer, 
the male Marines had not objected. The company 
commander, Captain Vernon C. Graham, and First 
Sergeant Charlie L. Boyd of Headquarters and Service 
Company were enthusiastic about the value of hav- 
ing complete control of and responsibility for all Ma- 
rines in the command. In the spring of 1977, members 
of the staff admitted that this was a new idea for the 
Marine Corps and in some way an experiment. Some 
procedures were being changed. Weekly training, for 
example, found the women drilling and inspected as 



ADMINISTRATION OF WOMEN 



139 



a separate platoon, and thought was being given to 
integrating the women into the male platoons. 4 

At Quantico, things were handled differently. Af- 
ter the deactivation of the WM company in 1976 wom- 
en Marines from 11 Marine Corps Development and 
Education Center units lived in three barracks. That 
fall it was decided to put the women under one roof 
again and a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters was reno- 
vated for them. 5 This system paralleled the one in ex- 
istence in 1977 at Cherry Point where the WM 
detachment was deactivated on 31 December 1974. 
The women were administratively transferred to the 
various squadrons and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, 
but they remained in the same barracks they had 
previously occupied. Under this arrangement, a wom- 
an NCO was responsible for the barracks, its cleanli- 
ness, maintenance, and security. She checked women 
in and out, held linen call, and prepared duty rosters. 
On a three -month assignment, she was away from her 
regular job for that length of time. 6 

These barracks NCOs, like Corporal Kay Frazier at 
Twentynine Palms in 1975, Staff Sergeant Sandra 
Hoolailo at Quantico, and Sergeant Carol Fox at Cher- 
ry Point in 1977 found that they were involved in many 
areas formerly handled by women commanding 
officers or first sergeants. Disputes between room- 
mates, personal problems, and work dissatisfaction 
were some of the matters brought to the NCO. In- 
fractions of barracks regulations and the preparation 
of duty rosters still required coordination between the 
battalion or squadron maintaining the barracks and 
the duty units of the women. 

Sergeant Fox, who was stationed at Cherry Point 
when WMD-2 was active, and who carried the colors 
at the deactivation ceremonies, compared both sys- 
tems. In her view, the women had more esprit and 
were a closer unit when under one command. The 
commanding officer and first sergeant knew the wom- 
en personally and were interested in them as in- 
dividuals. Since the deactivation of the detachment, 
Sergeant Fox felt that unit pride had virtually disap- 
peared; the barracks was no longer a scrupulously clean 
showplace; WM activities, like picnics or ball games, 
were nonexistent; and the women never paraded or 
marched as a unit. She particularly recalled the spirit 
and pride they had felt in the past after events such 
as IG inspections. 7 Private First Class Katie Jones Dix- 
on and Lance Corporal Judith Coy, interviewed at 
Cherry Point were, on the other hand, quite satisfied 
with the arrangement and voiced no complaints. 8 



One found, in 1977, senior WMs, officer and en- 
listed, who were unsure of the merits of the newer way 
for two reasons: first, deactivation of WM companies 
eliminated the primary source of command experience 
for company grade officers; and second, the WM com- 
pany was a source of group spirit and pride for the 
women Marines. A not uncommon sentiment was that 
women would never truly be accepted as Marines by 
male Marines, and therefore they needed some visi- 
ble unit to identify with. Others— most often junior 
WMs — saw the deactivation of WM companies as a 
sign that women Marines were truly Marines and not 
a separate corps. 

An offshoot of the deactivation of WM companies 
was the new experience for women having male com- 
manding officers and the novel experience for the 
men — commanding women. Staffs of mixed gender 
were no longer unusual, and male Marines were not 
apt to suffer fits of apoplexy when reporting in and 
finding the company clerk or executive officer wear- 
ing a skirt. 

Colonel Margaret A. Brewer, the Director of Wom- 
en Marines during this period of change, when asked 
if she thought that the venture of integrating women 
into male units was successful, answered that much 
depended upon the quality of the leadership. Where 
the commanding officers took positive steps to inte- 
grate the women and to make them feel welcome, the 
system worked. 9 Women Marines told her that they 
felt more like Marines— like they belonged. More im- 
portantly, the men took the trouble to learn about 
WMs, their regulations, concerns, and problems. It 
happened less frequently that male Marines called on 
WM officers and SNCOs to handle the routine mat- 
ters involving women: uniform discrepancies, poor 
work habits, and lapses in military courtesy. Some "old 
salts" discovered that the presence of a few WMs had 
a beneficial effect on behavior, language, and dis- 
cipline of the entire unit. 

Supervision and Guidance 
of Women Marines 

A long-standing tradition, wherever WM com- 
panies were found, was that all women Marine officers 
and staff noncommissioned officers regardless of their 
assignment, accepted some responsibility for the com- 
pany. The commanding officer naturally had the 
primary responsibility of administration, discipline, 
training, morale, and billeting of the enlisted WMs, 
but all company grade officers, SNCOs, and NCOs 
stood WM company duty; took their turn giving lee- 



140 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



tures on the training schedule; were apt to be assigned 
as platoon leaders; and attended all company- 
sponsored athletic and social happenings. Every WM 
second lieutenant left Quantico well indoctrinated 
with the idea that the health, happiness, performance, 
and appearance of all WMs junior to her were mat- 
ters of her concern, and the same theme was reiterat- 
ed in all phases of NCO training. 

Colonel Towle set the example in the very begin- 
ning when, in 1949, she invited all newly integrated 
WM officers to her apartment for tea. Lieutenant 
Colonel Munn remembers the care with which they 
dressed — hat and gloves — and in 1977 reflected on 
how wise it was of the colonel to bring them all 
together, even though they worked throughout the 
Headquarters. 

Colonel Hamblet, who succeeded Colonel Towle as 
Director of Women Marines, believed that senior wom- 
en Marines, officer and enlisted, in their relationship 
with juniors, should be concerned with the "total" per- 
son and her development. The receptions that wom- 
en Marines customarily gave for the Director when she 
made her annual visit were a part of this philosophy. 
The purpose was not only to give the women and the 
Director an opportunity to meet informally and look 
each other over, but it was an enjoyable way to learn 
something about entertaining, extending invitations, 
making introductions, and carrying on social conver- 
sations. In most cases, the work supervisors and their 
wives were invited and in Colonel Hamblet's view, it 
was beneficial for them to see the WMs in their own 
environment — often leading to a better understand- 
ing between the sexes. 

To be sure, not all the women wanted to get involved 
in these affairs, but gentle persuasion and a little well- 
directed leadership on the part of the commanding 
officer and the first sergeant worked wonders. Very 
often, younger women were uncomfortable with the 
prospect of entertaining senior Marines and this ac- 
counted for their apparent disinterest. When the party 
was over, obviously a success, and when the women 
received the compliments of the invited Marines and 
their ladies, they were in Colonel Hamblet's words, 
". . . pleased as punch." 

All women staff noncommissioned officers took an 
active role in the supervision and guidance of youn- 
ger WMs. They were considered a vital link between 
the commanding officer and her women, spotting 
potential problems and alert to changes in mood and 
morale. During the 13-year period between the time 



postwar enlistment was opened to nonveterans in Janu- 
ary 1949 until World War II WMs began to retire in 
1962, there existed a group of staff noncommissioned 
officers, older and more experienced, who felt a real 
obligation to the younger Marines. Due to the fact that 
there was no recruiting of women from 1945 to 1949, 
and because the WMs were at least 20 years old when 
they enlisted during the war, the age difference was 
quite pronounced. First Sergeant Schultz remembers 
that when the enlistment age was lowered to 18, the 
officers and NCOs felt a real obligation to ". . . these 
youngsters." 10 

Women Marines who served in the 1950s and early 
1960s tell many anecdotes that attest to the concern 
of these SNCOs for the WMs junior to them. One 
name often mentioned was that of Master Sergeant 
Lucretia E. Williams, retired in 1976, a supply NCO 
who was known to buy items for the barracks and mess 
hall out of her own money. When the WMs sched- 
uled ball games or hikes, she often arranged for cool 
drinks and then carried the large thermos jugs to the 
field herself. 11 Colonel Hilgart remembers a time as 
the commanding officer of WMD-1 when a snafu held 
up a check meant to pay for a WM ball team trip and 
Master Sergeant Williams appeared at the company 
office with a personal check for over $200. 12 

Another woman remembered by many is Master 
Sergeant Catherine G. Murray who on 30 November 
1962 became the first enlisted woman Marine to trans- 
fer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve at the comple- 
tion of nearly 20 years of service. Master Sergeant 
Murray could be found in the barracks every Sunday 
morning rousing up all the Roman Catholics and driv- 
ing them to Mass. Returning with one group from the 
early service, she gathered up more for the next one. 
All women with obvious Irish or Italian names were 
presumed Catholics and taken to church. Major Joan 
Collins, as an enlisted WM at Quantico, was a mem- 
ber of Master Sergeant Murray's "Volunteer" group 
that helped the nuns prepare the altar at nearby St. 
Francis parish in Triangle, Virginia. A Lutheran with 
an Irish name, she nonetheless spent three consecu- 
tive Saturdays cleaning and arranging altar cloths. 13 

Warrant Officer Eileen R. Scanlon relates another 
story that typifies the relationship of these women to 
the WM company. On a bitter cold day in January 
1961, the women Marines of Henderson Hall marched 
in President Kennedy's inaugural parade. The wom- 
en having been instructed to dress warmly, layered 
flannel pajamas, woolen bermuda shorts, and whatever 



ADMINISTRATION OF WOMEN 



141 



else they could fit under their uniforms. Not able to 
wear boots in a parade, they wore woolen socks cut 
off at the top so as not to show above the oxfords. But 
simple advice was not enough. Before leaving the bar- 
racks, all the SNCOs went through the squadbays in- 
specting each woman to ensure she had carried out 
the instructions. 14 

Several factors have combined to change the role 
played by women officers and staff noncommission- 
ed officers in the supervision and guidance of women 
Marines and the very personal concern evidenced in 
the incidents related above is now relatively rare. In 
the late 1960s, as a result of recommendations made 
by the Woman Marine Program Study Group, wom- 
en SNCOs were allowed to move out of the barracks, 
and more officers were given permission to move off 
base, making them far less accessible. 15 Attrition was 
much higher in the 1950s and 1960s before the change 
in regulations which allowed women with children to 
remain on active duty, thereby causing a shortage of 
older, mature SNCOs. Finally, the World War II WMs 
began to retire in 1962 and the women Marines lost 
this nucleus of officers and noncommissioned officers 
which for many years felt a special motherly respon- 
sibility to new WMs and to the success of the WM 
program. 



Barracks 
Marines have never disputed the philosophy that 
men are different from women. But even acknowledg- 
ing this or expecting it in no way lessened the initial 
jolt to a male "old salt" the first time he set foot in 
a WM barracks. Women are vitally concerned with 
their living areas, they spend more time in their quart- 
ers, and they have needs unique to the distaff com- 
munity. 

Colonel Streeter and her officers in World War II 
recognized these things early on and even in the midst 
of a war felt it was important to insist upon certain 
amenities for the women. A guest lounge became stan- 
dard. One room, usually furnished with comfortable 
chairs, sofa, TV (later), and record player was set aside 
to greet and entertain male guests. The regulations 
regarding proper attire and behavior were quite strict: 
Marines, men and women, had to dress in full uni- 
forms or comparable civilian clothing. For the wom- 
en, sportswear, shorts, or slacks were definitely not 
considered appropriate for the guest lounge. 

Very often the barracks boasted a sewing room, hair 
dryers, refrigerators, and some cooking equipment. 
Adequate laundry appliances were the subject of no 
small number of memoranda from the Director's 



Early in the 1930s women were issued a dresser and permitted to display one stuffed 
animal per bunk as shown in this photograph taken at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 




142 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




In the 1970s, a move from less military to more feminine and personalized decorating 
was allowed in the WM barracks. Colorful bed spreads as pictured here were popular. 



office. It had to be explained that women, as opposed 
to men, do not send personal clothing to commercial 
laundries and therefore needed more washing 
machines, dryers, and ironing boards than government 
specifications allowed. There was some feeling among 
WMs of that era that, in the end, the men's barracks 
had been improved and better equipped as an out- 
growth of the women's insistence on nicer living con- 
ditions. 

Barracks life in the days of the open squadbays of- 
fered little privacy, so whenever possible, the com- 
manding officer would set aside a "quiet room." It was 
a place to read, to study, to write letters, or to cry: 
it helped fulfill a woman's need to just be alone. For 
privacy's sake another distinguishing mark of the dis- 
taff barracks took hold — the fence. Discreetly, a fence 
hid from public view the dainty unmentionables dry- 
ing on the clothes line while at the same time provid- 
ing a spot for sunbathing. 



Where the WMs excelled at making a squadbay a 
home was in the decoration of their individual areas. 
Before the Department of Defense regulations requir- 
ing more space and privacy were published in 1973, 
most Marines were quartered in open squad rooms 
outfitted with double metal bunks, lockers, and locker 
boxes. 16 Wooden dressers were a concession to the 
women, and normally had to be shared. Much in- 
genuity went into the arrangement of the furniture 
to form cubicles, thereby assuring a measure of priva- 
cy to the several occupants. 

A persuasive commanding officer could often talk 
the battalion commander and S-4 into pastel colored 
paint— a very radical innovation in the 1950s. Colored 
rugs, bedspreads, and towels; perfume bottles, pray- 
er books, and photos on the dressers; and finally 
stuffed animals on the bunks were all privileges even- 
tually won, but often not easily. To keep some sem- 
blance of order, the company regulations specified how 



ADMINISTRATION OF WOMEN 



143 



many items per dresser, and how many stuffed dolls 
by size per bunk. 

Understandably, many male Marines had a difficult 
time adjusting to this desecration of a barracks. Be- 
fore long, however, the idea gained remarkable accep- 
tance, and at most posts and stations the WM barracks 
was a mainstay on the itinerary of visiting dignitaries. 

Daily Routine 

Life on board a Marine base in 1977 would have 
been only vaguely familiar to the WM of 1949 or even 
1959. The most obvious difference would have focused 
on the barracks building itself, apt to be motel-like 
with outside entrances for each room or hotel-like with 
rooms opening on a long passageway. Closets and 
dressers would have replaced lockers and locker boxes 
and the metal double bunks would have become 
unknown items of the past. Reveille would still come 
too soon, but would be more likely to be announced 
over a public address system than by means of a bugle. 



WMs, until the mid-1950s, held an outdoor forma- 
tion at rollcall each morning, summer and winter, in 
utilities. Since then rollcalls have become less and less 
regimented and are generally taken by an NCO with 
the Marines standing by in their areas. 17 

Mess halls, once furnished with long tables and 
benches, have become known as dining facilities and 
feature restaurant-style tables and chairs. Mandatory 
chow formations for the morning and evening meals 
are all but a memory since I960. The requirement to 
wear a uniform to the mess hall was eased to allow 
civilian clothing first on weekends, then for the even- 
ing meal, and finally for all meals. In 1977, at Hen- 
derson Hall, appropriate attire for the dining facility 
permitted neat, but not frayed jeans and excluded only 
shorts, halters, tank tops, and physical training 
outfits. 18 

Liberty cards and liberty logs also had joined "Old 
Corps" lore by 1970. Before that time all Marines 
signed out with the barracks duty NCO, and each was 



By 1973 at a few bases women were assigned motel-like rooms as the one pictured here. 





■I 






LJi 


19 


iH*^l 



144 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



closely inspected to see that he or she was properly 
dressed. WM company regulations generally went a 
step further. At most commands women Marines could 
not sign out on liberty after a certain time, perhaps 
2130 or 2200, and liberty often expired within an hour 
after the service clubs closed. Cinderella liberty, as it 
was called, and the motherly concern of command- 
ing officers, served to challenge the inventiveness of 
the women who found some ingenious ways to circum- 
vent the rules. 

The WM of 1977 walked out of the barracks at will. 
Dressed in slacks, she did not find it necessary to prove 
that she was going to participate in an active sport. 
Shorts did not have to be covered by a modest skirt, 
and wearing jeans was not strictly limited to car wash- 
ing in the immediate vicinity of the barracks. She was 
expected to be back on time by reveille, but beyond 
that she was largely her own boss. 

Discipline 

Regulations regarding apprehension, arrest, restric- 
tions, and confinement, from a technical standpoint 
have been equally applicable to all Marines, however, 
philosophical and practical consideration have dictated 
unequal enforcement. The differences primarly in- 
volve investigative procedures and confinement poli- 
cies. Since women did not have a military obligation, 
there was a tacit agreement that the best interests of 
the Marine Corps were served by removal of habitual 
offenders. WMs who just could not adjust to military 
life, who caused more work than they produced, and 
who had a negative effect on command morale and 
discipline were, when possible, administratively dis- 
charged. The Marine Corps expeditious discharge pro- 
gram, which was initiated in 1975 to improve the 
quality of personnel serving in the Corps, was based 
on much the same idea. 

The interrogation of women poses problems for 
both civilian and military police. In order to protect 
women from abuse and at the same time to protect 
the police from false accusations, authorities usually 
demand the attendance of a woman witness during 
the questioning. It had been Marine Corps policy to 
require on these occasions the presence of a woman 
officer or mature staff noncommissioned of- 
ficer—senior to the woman being interrogated— who 
could counsel and advise the suspect. The accused 
could waive this privilege as long as it was done in writ- 
ing and before a woman officer or her own command- 
ing officer. 



For a time it was planned to train enough women 
investigators so that each post and station would have 
available a capable officer or NCO to assist the provost 
marshal when necessary. There was no intention to as- 
sign these women to any sort of police duty. Second 
Lieutenant Marjorie E. O'Hanlon and Ruth F. Rein- 
holz were the first two women Marine officers to at- 
tend Provost Marshal General's School— Investigative 
Officers Course at Camp Gordon, Georgia, from 6 July 
to 2 September 1953. The two-month class covered 
surveillance techniques, photography, fingerprinting, 
and interrogation. The women were well trained but 
the idea backfired. No one, not even their best friends, 
trusted the new investigators, and after sending women 
Marines to several more classes, the project was 
abandoned. 19 

There always existed a reluctance to confine wom- 
en, and policy prohibited the use of brigs and guard- 
houses for them. Those guilty of civil crimes could be 
sent to civilian prisons. Women who rated confine- 
ment as a result of a court martial were more apt to 
be restricted to the barracks and fined— a punishment 
that did not require posting a guard. 

When WM companies were routine, and if the of- 
fense was serious, women could be confined in the bar- 
racks. A number of barracks had a room set aside 
specifically for that purpose. It was sparsely furnish- 
ed, had a door with a small window, and could be 
locked from the passageway. The confinement of a 
woman Marine in the barracks invariably affected the 
morale of the entire unit. Guards were posted around 
the clock causing many extra duty assignments for the 
NCOs; meals had to be brought in; and merely pass- 
ing the locked door was unnerving to the others. 20 

With the disbandment of WM companies and the 
resultant loss of appropriate barracks, confinement 
posed additional problems. Punishment had not 
necessarily been diminished; on the contrary, policy 
changes have allowed a more liberal use of civilian jails. 
In 1977, a woman Marine convicted by a court mar- 
tial could face restriction plus a fine or detention in 
an approved civilian prison— depending upon the 
judgment of the commanding officer. 

Based on the number of courts martial per total 
strength, the woman Marine disciplinary rate was less 
than one percent. 21 Although there have been few 
cases, each one is disproportionately magnified due 
to the very rarity of occurrence and the lingering 
hesitancy to confine women. 



CHAPTER 12 

Promotions 

Public Law 90-130— Enlisted Promotions 



By law women officers had always been selected for 
promotion under a different process and by separate 
board action from their male colleagues. The provi- 
sions of the Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948 held 
until 1967 when certain restrictions were lifted. 1 

For 20 years women in the Marine Corps as well as 
the other Services could aspire to no higher perma- 
nent rank than lieutenant colonel. Additionally, the 
number of women allowed to serve in the grades of 
major and lieutenant colonel was rigidly limited by 
the number of regular women officers on active duty. 
As the women officers who integrated in the 1948-1950 
period moved into the field grade ranks, two things 
occurred: it became irksome to them to stagnate for 
years in one rank as the male officers passed them by; 
and the upper ranks were virtually closed until the 
mid-1960s when these women became eligible to re- 
tire. During these years, women were selected for pro- 
motion by a separate board convened to consider all 
women officer ranks. The limited duty officer pro- 
gram, a major opportunity open to male enlisted Ma- 
rines to achieve commissioned rank, was legally closed 
to women Marines. 

Warrant officer status has been available to women 
and the early history of the first women Marine war- 
rant officers is told in a letter from CWO-4 Ruth L. 
Wood: 

Of course the biggest event for me was being selected for 
warrant officer. On 14 April 1952 we took the 3-hour ex- 
amination. I believe there were about 57 women applicants, 
and Lillian Hartley (Disbursing) and I (Administration) were 
the two lucky ones selected. We took the same exam the 
men did, at the same time, which included making deci- 
sions on questions whether to dig a one-man or a two-man 
fox hole, when to retreat from an air strip and by whose 
authority, etc.! A couple of years later when the Marine Corps 
decided to select another woman warrant, the Testing and 
Education Unit at Quantico called me, as I was stationed 
at Quantico, to say they couldn't find a copy of the "wom- 
en's exam" and were quite astonished when I told them we 
took the men's exam. They proceeded to make a separate 
exam for the women. 

Lillian Hartley was stationed at HQMC so she received 
her warrant soon after selection. Mine didn't come so Col- 
onel Hamblet called HQMC to ask about it as she wanted 
to assign me as adjutant and instructor at the Women Of- 
ficer Training Detachment there before the next class be- 



gan. At the time, Lieutenant Colonel Hamblet was the 
commanding officer of the detachment and not Director 
of Women Marines. When they told her the delay in my 
warrant was due to the break down of the "fancy typewriter," 
she suggested they write it in longhand if necessary to get 
it down here! It soon came typed, but not in the "fancy 
type." 

Lillian Hartley's and my date of rank was 13 June 1952, 
but in the "Blue Book" {Combined Lineal List of Officers 
on Active Duty) I was listed first for some reason, with a 
man next, and then Lillian Hartley, so I am the senior wom- 
an warrant officer. Three years later we made CWO-2 . That 
same year we had the opportunity to apply for permanent 
warrant officer, and on 16 Dec 1955 the list came out show- 
ing we had been selected over again with a permanent date 
of rank of 1 July 1954, and Lotus Mort was selected with 
a permanent date of 14 Dec 1955. Margaret Robertson was 
selected in 1956, Alice Mclntyre in 1957, Elaine Freeman 
in 1958, and Mary Thompson in 1959, none in I960, then 
one a year for some time thereafter. 

When on 1 Jan 1961 I was the first woman promoted to 
CWO-4, they made a big event of it (altho' I had been the 
first CWO-2 and CWO-3 also so it was quite logical!), and 
I made permanent CWO-4 on 13 June 1967. 2 

A change was made in the warrant officer program 
in 1975 when for the first time women warrant officers 
attended the Warrant Officer Basic School with their 
male counterparts. 

Public Law 90-130 

The first significant change in law directly affecting 
servicewomen occurred when Congress enacted Pub- 
lic Law 90-130. In a colorful ceremony in the East 
Room of the White House, President Lyndon B. John- 
son on 8 November 1967 signed into law the bill giv- 
ing women officers in the armed forces equal 
opportunity for promotion with their male colleagues. 
Present at the signing were servicewomen and former 
servicewomen, including directors and former direc- 
tors of the WAC, WAVES, WAF, Women Marines, the 
three Nurse Corps, and three Women's Medical Serv- 
ice Corps. High-ranking male officers were there as 
well, including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

The Marine Band, which normally plays at Presiden- 
tial ceremonies, relinquished the stage for the occa- 
sion to the 14th U.S. Army Band, the only all-women 
official band in the Armed Forces. The United States 
flag and the flags of the various services were carried 

145 



146 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




WO Lillian Hartley, one of the first two women Marines to be promoted to warrant officer, 
receives congratulations from Col Katherine A. Towle, IFM Director, on 7 August 1952, 



by a color guard of enlisted women, and the Presi- 
dent entered the East Room through a cordon of 50 
women from all branches of the Services, including 
12 women Marines. 

Heading the list of Marines present at the ceremo- 
ny was General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., then Com- 
mandant. Four of the five women who had held 
appointment as Director of Women Marines were in 
attendance: Colonels Ruth Cheney Streeter, Julia E. 
Hamblet, Margaret M. Henderson, and Barbara J. 
Bishop. Sergeant Majors Ouida Craddock and Rosa 
Harrington topped the roster of enlisted women Ma- 
rines at the historic ceremony. 3 

Significant among the President's remarks was the 
statement that: 

Our Armed Forces literally could not operate effectively 
or efficiently without our women ... So, both as President 
and as the Commander in Chief, I am very pleased and very 
proud to have this measure sent to me by the Congress. 4 



This long-awaited law repealed the legal limitations 
on the number of women in the Armed Services and 
also removed some, but not all, of the assignment and 
promotion restrictions. There were still certain legal 
limitations such as the prohibition against the ap- 
pointment of women as limited duty officers, the le- 
gal limitations on the promotion of women officers 
to flag and general officer rank in the Navy and Ma- 
rine Corps, and the differences in the criteria for the 
involuntary separation of male and female officers who 
were not selected for promotion. In the Marine Corps, 
a male first lieutenant or captain was involuntarily 
separated if he was considered as having twice failed 
selection for promotion to the next higher grade. 
Historically, due to the upper rank promotion restric- 
tions for women, a female first lieutenant or captain 
was not involuntarily separated until she had complet- 
ed seven or 13 years of commissioned service, respec- 
tively, and was not on a promotion list. 

The law also precluded female commissioned of- 



PROMOTIONS 



147 



ficers in the Marine Corps from competing for pro- 
motion with male officers. This restriction combined 
with the smaller numbers of women officers made it 
difficult to maintain an equitable rank structure. As 
a result, women officers by the 1970s were sometimes 
promoted earlier than their male contemporaries. In 
order to achieve comparability, a goal was set to slow 
down the women's promotions and to "age them in 
grade." A selection board was not convened in 1976 
to consider women for the rank of colonel nor in 1977 
to consider selections to lieutenant colonel. In some 
cases, as a result, a few women served more time in 
grade than average. 

Although the law required selection boards for male 
and female Marine officers, women since August 1974 
had been selected for promotion by the same board 



membership as the men with the addition of a wom- 
an officer. If that woman officer was a colonel, she also 
served as a member of the male officer selection board. 

The law further precluded the selection of a wom- 
an officer to flag and general officer rank in the Navy 
and Marine Corps although there was a provision for 
temporary appointment as a rear admiral or brigadier 
general while serving in specific billets. 5 

On the positive side, PL 90-130 allowed for per- 
manent promotions to colonel for women. In April 
1968, some six months after it was enacted, selection 
boards were convened at Headquarters Marine Corps 
to select Regular and Reserve women lieutenant col- 
onels for promotion. Colonels Towle and Hamblet 
were called from retirement to sit on these boards. The 
Director of Women Marines, Colonel Barbara Bishop, 



Lotus T. Mort, third woman Marine to be appointed a permanent warrant officer, receives 
her new insignia from Col Julia E. Hamblet (left), Director of Women Marines, and 
LtCol Pauline B. Beckley, in a ceremony at Headquarters Marine Corps, in January 1956. 




148 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



and Lieutenant Colonel Jeanette Sustad, former 
Deputy Director of Women Marines, were the first 
Regular women officers selected for permanent pro- 
motion to the grade of colonel. Of the six Reserve 
officers selected, two, Lieutenant Colonel Hazel E. 
Benn, deputy head of the Special Services Branch at 
Headquarters, and Lieutenant Colonel Ruth H. Broe, 
special projects officer for the Division of Information, 
were serving on active duty. The four remaining 
Reserve colonels were Lieutenant Colonels Mary L. 
Condon, Helen A. Wilson, Dorothy R. Dietz, and Ril- 
da M. Stuart. 6 

Enlisted Promotions 

For the most part, promotions for enlisted women 
in the Marine Corps were made under the same poli- 
cies and by the same boards as for the men. Except 
in scattered individual cases, there has never existed 
the dissatisfaction or charges of sex discrimina- 
tion—voiced either by WMs who felt held back or by 
male Marines who thought the women to be 
favored — that was evident in the case of officer pro- 
motions. 

The notable exception was the first sergeant and ser- 
geant major program opened by the Marine Corps in 
1955- At first only male Marines were eligible and the 
Director, Colonel Hamblet, fought the exclusion for 
three years. In a report dated 21 September 1956, af- 
ter noting the defined duties of the first sergeants and 
sergeants major, she reasoned that all of them apply 
equally to men and women Marines. She continued: 

Paragraph 4 g, however, denies the program to women 
on the basis that the "senior NCO present must have the 
capability of leading the unit in a combat, or other type 
situation. 

It is felt that it is unrealistic to deny the first ser- 
geant/sergeant major program to women on the basis that 
they cannot supervise a unit in the field nor lead a unit in 
combat. The mission of male Marines, officer and enlisted, 
is preparedness for combat; however, we do not refuse to 
commission women officers because they cannot lead com- 
bat platoons nor do we fail to promote enlisted women from 
private to master sergeant because they cannot serve "in the 
field." 

Attention is invited to the fact that women Marines did 
attend First Sergeants School, were designated first ser- 
geants/sergeant major, and did wear the distinctive insignia 
of those ranks during World War II; consequently, a prece- 
dent for the appointment of women Marines to first ser- 
geants/sergeant major definitely exists. 7 

Recognizing the futility of her cause at the time, 
Colonel Hamblet made two practical recommenda- 



tions that were in the realm of possibility. She asked 
that the: 

. . . first sergeant/sergeant major program be opened to 
women Marines in event of national emergency when not 
only would the increased strength and billets in the wom- 
en's program justify their selection, but undoubtedly wom- 
en would, as they did during World War II, replace male 
first sergeants /sergeants major who were ordered to combat 
duty. 8 

and that: 

... the policy be continued that women's units will have 
billets designated for first sergeants/sergeants major and the 
women assigned to these billets will hold the billet title while 
so serving even though they are not authorized the distinc- 
tive insignia. 9 

Two years later, on 20 November 1958, she per- 
sonally brought her case to the Commandant, General 
Pate, and on the following day she submitted a report 
of the conversation to the chief of staff. She wrote: 

The pros and cons of selecting women Marines for the 
permanent rank of sergeant major and first sergeant to fill 
sergeant major and first sergeant billets existing within the 
women's program were discussed. The Commandant and the 
undersigned were in accord that because of the limited num- 
ber of these billets (probably 3 sergeants major and 10 first 
sergeants) it would not be in the best interests of the Ma- 
rine Corps to select women to these ranks and restrict their 
assignment to the few billets in the women's program. In- 
stead, it would appear more advantageous to have the women 
filling these billets have the rank, pay, title, and insignia 
while so assigned. It was agreed that the selection of wom- 
en for these billets would rest with the Director of Women 
Marines. 10 

The brevet system discussed by the Commandant 
and Colonel Hamblet materialized when Marine 
Corps Order 1421.6, dated 3 May I960, was publish- 
ed allowing for temporary appointments to first ser- 
geant and sergeant major for women. They were not 
considered to be promotions as the women eligible 
for them had to be master gunnery sergeant in order 
to move into the sergeant major slot or master ser- 
geants to become first sergeants— actually comparable 
pay grades. 

These top-rated enlisted women held the appoint- 
ment, wore the appropriate chevrons, and received full 
pay and the privileges of the rank as long as they were 
in the designated billets and reverted to their perma- 
nent rank on transfer out of the jobs. At the time, 
there were three sergeants major billets: the senior en- 
listed women at the Woman Recruit Training Battal- 
ion at Parris Island; the Women Marines Detachment 
at Quantico; and in the office of the Director of Wom- 
en Marines. There were 10 first sergeant spots, one at 



PROMOTIONS 



149 




CW04 Ruth L. Wood, the first woman Marine to achieve that grade, has her insignia 
of rank pinned on by Col Clifford P. Quilici and Col Charles E. Dobson, in 1966. 



each of the existing women Marine companies which 
were then located at: Headquarters Marine Corps; 
Quantico; Norfolk; Cherry Point; Camp Lejeune; Parris 
Island; San Diego; Camp Pendleton; El Toro; and 
FMFPac, Hawaii. 11 

By modern standards, the policy appears restrictive, • 
but, in fact, the brevet system was adopted to protect 
the women. The policies governing assignments of 
women at the time prohibited them from serving in 
these billets in male organizations. Had the appoint- 
ment been permanent, the 13 women would have 
been limited to these billets, thereby restricting their 
potential utilization and at the same time, preclud- 
ing others from serving as sergeants major and first 
sergeants. 

As it turned out, for a number of years, there were 
so few women master gunnery sergeants that it was 
not until December 1964 that a woman Marine eligi- 
ble for a sergeant major appointment reported to Parris 
Island. Sergeant Major Doris Derrick was the first WM 
to be authorized the chevrons, pay, and privileges in- 
herent in the title of Sergeant Major, Woman Recruit 
Training Battalion. 12 



Women who served in the temporary positions 
could, upon retirement, ask for a permanent ap- 
pointment to first sergeant or sergeant major as ap- 
propriate, providing they had performed satisfactorily 
in the rank for at least a year. 

The brevet system was in effect for 12 years. Sur- 
prisingly, the suggestion that women be promoted per- 
manently to the top enlisted ranks came from a man, 
the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Joseph W. 
Daily. In a memorandum to the Commandant dated 
1 November 1971, the sergeant major stated: 

It is realized that billets for Women Marine First Ser- 
geants/Sergeants Major are few. However, I feel the Wom- 
en Marines are treated unfairly, not being able to compete 
on the same promotion system as Male Marines. This sub- 
ject was brought up as an agenda item at the SNCO Sym- 
posium. The vote was 95 percent in favor for Women 
Marines to be promoted to First Sergeant/ Sergeant Major 
the same as Male Marines. It was surprising to learn the num- 
ber of Male Marines who were unaware of the fact that Wom- 
en Marines were not promoted the same as males in those 
two ranks. 13 

Furthermore, the Sergeant Major endorsed the idea 



150 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



of women filling these positions in male units as he 
continued: 

If Women Marines were ever promoted in First Ser- 
geant/Sergeant Major, they could fill other billets as they 
are now interchangeable in many jobs with Male Marines. 
This would also help the Woman Marine become more 
professional in the First Sergeant /Sergeant Major billet. 

It is strongly recommended that Women Marines be given 
the same opportunity as Male Marines in our promotion sys- 
tem and that it should commence with the Fiscal Year 1972 
Board. . . , 14 

A debate on the issue ensued finding the Director 
of Women Marines, Colonel Sustad, opposed due to 
the short time given WMs to consider career alter- 
natives. Directives at the time allowed male gunnery 
sergeants to indicate on their fitness reports their 
preference for promotion to either master sergeant or 
first sergeant — the selection having a bearing on their 
future assignments. Colonel Sustad recommended 
that action be deferred until a study could be con- 
ducted to determine whether a permanent system or 
the brevet system was actually best fitted for women 
Marines. 15 

In due time, the colonel was on the side of perma- 



nent promotions, and her stand received timely sup- 
port by way of a memorandum signed by Roger T. 
Kelley, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manpower and 
Reserve Affairs, directing the Services to eliminate in- 
equities. On 31 July 1972, the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps approved the selection of an unlimited 
number of women Marines as designated sergeants 
major and first sergeants. The new policy was im- 
plemented by the E-8/E-9 promotion board already 
in session, having convened on 18 July. 16 

Apart from the particular designations as sergeant 
major and first sergeant, the ninth pay grade was 
opened to women in the spring of I960 when Geral- 
dine M. Moran became the first and only WM at the 
time to hold the rank of master gunnery sergeant. She 
was promoted to that rank in April I960 by Captain 
Valeria F. Hilgart, commanding officer of Woman Ma- 
rine Detachment 1, El Toro. 17 Master Gunnery Ser- 
geant Mary G. Vaughn, believed to be the first black 
woman Marine E-9, received her promotion warrant 
from Lieutenant General John N. McLaughlin, Com- 
manding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, in 
Hawaii in April 1977. 



CHAPTER 13 

Marriage, Motherhood, and Dependent Husbands 

Marriage —Motherhood— Dependency Regulations— The Military Couple — Marine Wife, Civilian Husband 



Right from the start, Colonel Towle had to field 
questions from newspeople insinuating that the Ma- 
rine Corps was against matrimony for women Marines. 
Tactfully, she, and then later, her successors, Colonels 
Hamblet and Henderson, assured the reporters that 
Marines certainly were not antimarriage. The laws, 
Department of Defense regulations, and Marine Corps 
regulations of the time supported their statements: 
marriage was indeed acceptable; husbands and chil- 
dren, however, posed some problems. Generally, it can 
be said that from 1948 until 1964 a woman Marine 
could marry, and almost immediately ask for a dis- 
charge; the acquisition of natural, adopted, foster, or 
stepchildren under 18 years of age, in fact required 
discharge. Husbands were not considered dependents 
unless they were actually dependent upon the wife for 
more than 50 percent of their support. 

Marriage 

Under the policy in effect from 1949 until the Viet- 
nam War, enlisted WMs who married could ask for 
an administrative discharge based solely on marriage. 
Providing they had completed one year of their en- 
listment beyond basic training, they were discharged 
for the convenience of the government. Regular officers 
were eligible for release two years after their appoint- 
ment. During the Korean War, regulations were more 
stringent, but were relaxed immediately after the 
emergency. 1 This liberal view toward discharges and 
release from contractual obligations reflected society's 
negative attitude toward working wives. Needless to 
say, it contributed to instability in the WM program. 

With changing values, a manpower crisis in the 
1960s, and a need to improve the attrition rate of wom- 
en Marines, Colonel Barbara J. Bishop, by then the 
Director, led the fight to tighten the rules. Colonel 
Bishop reasoned that women must honor their enlist- 
ment contract. To make it easier, husbands and wives, 
whenever possible, would be stationed at the same or 
nearby bases. A joint household policy was put into 
effect on 14 July 1964 which stated: 

A married enlisted Woman Marine may be discharged 
at her written request, provided she is not stationed at or 
sufficiently close to the duty station or residence of her hus- 



band to permit the maintenance of a joint residence, and 
provided she meets all of the following conditions. 

a. A transfer request to the same or nearby duty station 
or place of residence of her husband has been submitted 
to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and has been 
denied. 

b. The separation of husband and wife has exceeded 18 
months. 

c. The enlisted woman is not serving on an extension of 
enlistment or reenlistment entered into subsequent to 
marriage. 

d. The enlisted woman has completed 24 months of ser- 
vice subsequent to completion of a service school if the length 
of school was more than 24 weeks. 

A married woman Marine officer does not become eligi- 
ble for separation or release from active duty, simply be- 
cause of her marital status, until she has completed her 
period of obligated service (3 years). 2 

In August of the following year, 1965, due to the 
demands of the Vietnam War, discharges based upon 
marriage were suspended regardless of place of resi- 
dence. Then, once again, on 31 October 1966, the 
joint household policy was reinstated. 

The desired effect of these new regulations — to 
lengthen the service of many WMs— was realized 
almost immediately. The rate of discharges for reasons 
of marriage was dramatically reduced from 18.6 per- 
cent in fiscal year 1964 to 6.3 percent in fiscal year 1965 
and, finally, to 2.3 percent in fiscal year 1966 . 3 

Motherhood 

A study group in 1948 meeting to discuss propos- 
ed regulations governing the discharge of women 
stated: 

It is believed that pregnancy and motherhood ipso facto 
interfere with military duties. . . . Granting of maternity 
leave would result in having ineffectives; replacement could 
not be procured while the woman remained on the active 
list; and the mother of a small child would not be readily 
available for reassignment. Necessary rotation of duty as- 
signments would require the family unit to be broken up 
for considerable periods of time, or at least until the hus- 
band made the necessary provisions to establish the home 
at the mother's new duty station .... It is believed that 
a woman who is pregnant or a mother should not be a mem- 
ber of the armed forces and should devote herself to the 
responsibilities which she had assumed, remaining with her 
husband and child as a family unit. 4 

151 



152 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




In 1971 a change in regulations allowed natural mothers to continue on active duty ser- 
vice. Captjoan Collins, company commander, reenlists pregnant GySgt Donna Murray. 



This sort of reasoning, typical of the times, formed 
the basis for Marine Corps regulations on the subject 
until 1970. The rules were very strictly enforced, and 
any responsibility for children forced the separation 
of a woman Marine from the service. 

The first step toward a more liberal view was taken 
in the fall of 1970 when Headquarters announced that 
a WM who is the stepparent of, or who has personal 
custody of, or adopts, a child could ask to stay on ac- 
tive duty. Each case had to be reviewed, taking into 



consideration such factors as length of service, perfor- 
mance record, ages and number of children involved, 
and the commanding officer's evaluation of the situ- 
ation. Waivers were granted if it could be determined 
that parenthood would not interfere with the Marine's 
job. 5 

On 12 August 1970, Colonel Jeanette I. Sustad, 
Director of Women Marines, startled the women at- 
tending the Women Marines Association Convention 
in Philadelphia by predicting the possibility of allow- 



MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, AND DEPENDENT HUSBANDS 



153 



ing natural mothers to continue on active duty. It was, 
in fact, due to her personal efforts that many of the 
long-standing regulations were set aside. Times had 
changed, women had changed, mores had changed. 
It was 1970 and women no longer accepted the old 
order as dogma. 

Colonel Sustad invested a great deal of her time 
locating and attempting to gain acceptance of this view 
at Headquarters. Colonel John L. Ostby of the Legal 
Division was her trusted advisor and mentor, supply- 
ing her with facts, legal interpretations, and whatever 
ammunition she needed to get by each stumbling 
block. Certain that success was within reach, Colonel 
Sustad kept at least one Reserve officer's separation 
papers in staffing— lost in the administrative maze — 
until the regulations were changed allowing for a more 
favorable disposition of her case. 6 

And, change did come in 1971 when a waiver poli- 
cy for natural mothers was tested. Again, each case was 
carefully considered by Headquarters and women with 
good records who were able to show that they could 
adequately care for the child were allowed to remain 
on duty. 7 Gunnery Sergeant Frances L. Gonzales, the 
first WM to take advantage of the program, never 
missed a day of work other than annual leave and the 
travel time involved with her transfer at the time. 8 Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Carolyn Auldridge Walsh, the first 
officer to remain on active duty after having a child, 
lost little time as well. Colonel Sustad credits the posi- 
tive example of these first cases with helping to calm 
the fears of some, but not all, of the opponents to the 
idea. 9 

Women who had been discharged from the Marine 
Corps for pregnancy took new hope, and some asked 
to be allowed to return. Major Mary Sue Stevens 
League, separated in March 1970 because of pregnancy, 
was one of these former WMs who sought to regain 
her commission. On 24 January 1972, she was given 
the commissioning oath in the Marine Corps Reserve 
by her husband, Lieutenant Commander William C. 
League, a Navy chaplain, in ceremonies at the Marine 
Barracks in the Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Vir- 
ginia. She reportedly was the first woman Marine to 
regain her commission after becoming pregnant and 
being separated. 10 

The Department of Defense in 1975 published in- 
structions which precluded the involuntary separation 
of servicewomen on the sole basis of pregnancy. Ma- 
rine Corps Order 5000.12, dated 16 July 1975, speci- 
fied that WMs who are pregnant may, upon request, 



be discharged or retained on active duty if otherwise 
qualified. Women who chose to remain in the Serv- 
ice were cautioned that parenthood did not entitle 
them to special treatment or consideration in duty as- 
signments, and commanding officers had the obliga- 
tion to initiate action for discharge in cases where 
women failed to carry out their duties after the birth 
of the child. 11 

Pregnant WMs could wear civilian clothes when the 
uniform no longer looked appropriate. The seeming- 
ly unlikely prospect of a regulation maternity outfit 
was under study by the military services and later ap- 
proved. 

Under normal circumstances, and based upon the 
advice of a medical officer, a pregnant servicewoman 
was expected to lose no more than 10 weeks of duty— 
four before delivery and six after. If the mother want- 
ed more time off, for reasons other than medical, she 
could ask for annual leave. A 1977 study showed that 
even with time off for maternity leave and other strictly 
female matters, servicewomen lost much less time than 
men because of their lower incidence of absence 
without leave, desertion, and drug- and alcohol-related 
problems. 12 

Finally, in respect to the demands of both mother- 
hood and her job, if a Marine asked to remain on duty, 
but later found it impossible to do justice to her 
responsibilities, she could ask for an administrative dis- 
charge. 

In early 1949, when the policies were being for- 
mulated that would eventually cause the discharge of 
all pregnant servicewomen, Rear Admiral Clifford A. 
Swanson, Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, Department of the Navy, stood alone in an at- 
tempt to protect the careers of women in the military. 
Taking a somewhat radical position, one not even es- 
poused by the leading military women of the day, he 
wrote: 

Inasmuch as pregnancy is a normal biological phenome- 
non in women in the military age group it must be assumed 
that the possibility that women entering the regular mili- 
tary service become pregnant was recognized by Congress 
when reference (a) [Women's Armed Services Integration Act 
of 1948] was enacted. It would appear to this Bureau that 
the apparent purpose . . . was to afford women an oppor- 
tunity to enter into and remain in the military service as 
a career and that the subject proposed regulation is incon- 
sistent with this apparent purpose of the Women's Armed 
Services Integration Act of 1948. 

In connection with the foregoing, it cannot be presumed 
to be the policy of the military service to regard either the 
institution of marriage or the raising of a family with dis- 
favor. However, it is recognized that if such personal interests 



154 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



seriously interfere with military duties, or if female military 
personnel desire to give up their military career voluntarily 
in order to raise a family ... it would be desirable to have 
means available whereby such personnel can be expeditiously 
separated from the service. Aside from these considerations 
there would appear to this Bureau to be no reason for ter- 
minating the service of personnel who are pregnant but phys- 
ically able to perform their duties. . . . 13 

Admiral Swanson made specific recommendations 
regarding time off, maternity leave, and discharges, 
and while the regulations published 27 years later are 
not precisely his, the philosophy is unmistakable. 

Dependency Regulations 

In a report to the House Armed Services Commit- 
tee on 6 March 1972, Colonel Sustad wrote: 



Title 37 contains different criteria for defining dependents 
of men and women military members. This results in an 
inequality of treatment between the married military man 
and the married military woman. It also causes a difference 
in treatment between the military man married to a civilian 
and the military man married to a military woman. 

To this simple statement of fact, she added her per- 
sonal view, "The present law is clearly unfair to the 
military woman. In recent years this inequity has be- 
come the primary complaint among women in the Ma- 
rine Corps." 14 

The question of dependency had long been an ir- 
ritant causing ever increasing dissatisfaction to those 
who found themselves adversely affected by the law 
and policies. When women first entered military ser- 



Chaplain (LCdr) William C. League, USN, pins leaves on bis wife, Maj Mary Sue League, 
the first woman to regain her commission after being separated for pregnancy. Joining 
in the ceremony are Maj Nannette I. Beavers, USMCR (second from right), and her 
mother, Mrs. Leola A. Beavers (far right), a World War I Marine , on 24 January 1972. 




MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, AND DEPENDENT HUSBANDS 



155 



vice, the traditional American family concept was that 
of a unit financially supported by the male member. 
For many years, women accepted the inequities with 
only a minimal amount of grumbling; but few, if any, 
considered challenging the law until the era of wom- 
en's rights — approximately 1970. 

The Military Couple 

For WMs married to servicemen the problems fo- 
cused on quarters and the basic allowance for quart- 
ers (BAQ) normally provided to members of the 
Armed Forces with dependents. Since the Marine wife 
in a military family received military pay, she was not 
considered a dependent. It then followed that the hus- 
band was entitled only to the lower BAQ provided 
to members without dependents. Furthermore, if the 
husband was assigned to sea duty, field duty, FMF 
duty, or combat, where presumably adequate quart- 
ers were furnished him, even the without-dependents 
allowance was denied to him as it was denied to all 
of the bachelors. The wife was not entitled to any al- 
lowance for quarters unless she was a major or above, 
and unless there was no available space for her in the 
Bachelor Officers' Quarters (BOQ). 

Put into effect, this policy financially penalized not 
only WMs, but their service husbands. The experience 
of two lieutenants stationed at Camp Lejeune in the 
mid-1960s is typical of the inconvenience caused 
many. Since there was at Camp Lejeune a BOQ for 
women with plenty of available space, the WM lieu- 
tenant, although married, was assigned a room. She, 
therefore, was not entitled to a monetary allowance. 
Her Marine husband, because he was married, was not 
required to live in the BOQ, but since his wife was 
a Marine, he was paid BAQ at the rate of a single man. 
They rented a house together and she merely ignored 
the assigned quarters. When the husband left for a 
six-month Mediterranean cruise, his entitlement to an 
allowance stopped and they were left with two alter- 
natives: maintain the house anyway or put their fur- 
nishings in storage at their own expense for six 
months, and have the wife move into the BOQ. They 
kept their house. 

As to public quarters for families on board a base, 
when they were available, only the husband was eligi- 
ble, and the assignment was based upon his grade 
regardless of who was senior. 

Marine Wife — Civilian Husband 

During the legislative hearings that preceded the 
passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration 



Act of 1948, much attention was paid to the question 
of military women with civilian husbands. There was, 
in the minds of many, a real fear of an army of indi- 
gent men — camp followers, in effect— who would take 
unscrupulous advantage of the largesse of the United 
States Government and military wives. The ensuing 
laws, Title 10 and 37 of the United States Code, laid 
down specific tests of dependency which were inter- 
preted for 25 years to mean that a civilian husband 
was not the dependent of his military wife unless he 
was dependent upon her for more than 50 percent of 
his support due to total and permanent mental or 
physical disability. The ramifications were considera- 
ble, and especially difficult for young Marines who 
upon discharge enrolled in college while their Marine 
wives continued on active duty. 

The civilian husband had no type of identification 
card and hence had to obtain a visitor's pass each time 
he came on the base, and could not, of course, go to 
the service club, post exchange, or commissary, or use 
any recreational facilities such as the swimming pool, 
golf course, or theater unless accompanied by his wife 
as her guest. Additionally, he was not entitled to med- 
ical care. The couple was not eligible for family hous- 
ing, travel and transportation allowances for the 
husband, dislocation allowance, overseas station al- 
lowances, or a family separation allowance. 15 

Because of a quirk in commissary regulations which 
used the term "authorized agent" rather than "depen- 
dent," occasionally local authorities ruled that civilian 
husbands could, with a special pass, shop for grocer- 
ies. Other times, under stricter interpretations, the 
man was given a pass that only allowed him to accom- 
pany his wife into the store and help her carry out the 
purchase, but not to shop on his own. Most often, the 
civilian husband was not allowed to enter the com- 
missary at all. The Armed Services Exchange Regula- 
tions, on the other hand, specifically limited the use 
of post exchanges to dependents, thereby summarily 
barring all civilian husbands of service women. 16 

Lieutenant Colonel Clowers, perhaps the only wom- 
an Marine officer of her time to be married to a civilian 
husband for the majority of her career, was never per- 
mitted to live on board a Marine base with her hus- 
band. In fact, although she was always permitted to 
draw the single quarters allowance, she lived under 
the constant threat of being assigned quarters in a 
BOQ and losing that entitlement. In 1956, the colonel 
was ordered to Parris Island to take command of the 
Woman Recruit Training Battalion and she was advised 



156 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



of the commanding general's desire that all battalion 
commanders live on board the base. The Quarter- 
master General at Headquarters, however, ruled that 
her husband absolutely could not live with her on base 
except for visits of a maximum of 30 days since he was 
not dependent on her due to mental and physical in- 
competence. In the end, the dilemma was solved by 
cancelling Lieutenant Colonel Clower's orders to Par- 
ris Island, and sending her instead to Quantico to com- 
mand the Women Officers Training Detachment. 

The first major change in interpretation of the law 
came on 3 July 1972 when it was ruled that a hus- 
band could be considered a dependent when there 
is sufficient evidence to establish his dependence on 
his service wife for over half of his support without 
regard to his mental or physical capacity to support 
himself. Thus, a student husband, for example, if his 
veteran's benefits did not make up more than 50 per- 



cent of his support, became eligible for an iden- 
tification card and the attendent privileges. 

Women Marines, as all married servicewomen, still 
resented the narrow interpretation of the term "de- 
pendent" since wives of servicemen were automatically 
granted all privileges regardless of their financial, phys- 
ical, or mental status. Morale was significantly raised 
in the female ranks therefore, when on 14 May 1973, 
in the Frontiero vs. Richardson case, the Supreme 
Court ruled that servicewomen were eligible for all 
benefits, privileges, and rights granted servicemen un- 
der the same circumstances. Furthermore, former or 
retired servicewomen could file claims for retroactive 
payment of with-dependents quarters allowances for 
periods of active duty during which they were mar- 
ried but not receiving the increased allowances. 19 The 
single, major complaint of WMs at the time of the 
ruling was thus resolved. 



CHAPTER 14 

Uniforms 

The Beginnings of Change, 1950- The Mainbocher Wardrobe, 1950-1952 —After Mainbocher 
Grooming and Personal Appearance — Utilities 



A composite of the 1943 Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve uniform regulations with several changes made 
during World War II was published on 30 April 1945 
as Uniform Regulations, U.S. Marine Women's 
Reserve, 1945 > These regulations remained in force 
until 1952 when newly designed uniforms were in- 
troduced. When women joined the Regular Marine 
Corps in November 1948, the subject of uniforms was 
on their minds since fashions had changed, most 
noticeably skirt lengths. From short knee-length styles, 
hems dropped to midcalf with the coming of the "New 
Look." Male Marines responsible for supplies and 
money were unshakeable. There would be no new uni- 
forms until the wartime stocks were depleted. 

Generally, women Marines, officer and enlisted, 
wore identically styled uniforms of the same fabric. 
This was not true of male Marines. Women officers 
wore green, detachable epaulets on the shoulder straps 
of summer uniforms and had additional dress uni- 
forms. For dress, officers wore gilt and silver-colored 
emblems traditionally worn by Marine officers while 
the enlisted women wore the gilt emblems of enlist- 
ed Marines. Both wore the bronze eagle, globe, and 
anchor on their service uniforms. While the vertical 
axis of the hemisphere paralleled the crease line of the 
jacket collar for officers, it was worn perpendicular to 
the floor for enlisted women. Coats, caps, shoes, 
gloves, handbags, and mufflers were the same for all 
ranks. Enlisted women wore the same large chevrons 
as the men. 

Winter Service-. The winter service uniform consisted 
of a man -tailored jacket and straight-lined skirt made 
of forest green serge. A long-sleeved khaki shirt with 
four-in-hand necktie, green cap, brown shoes and 
gloves, and bronze metal buttons completed the out- 
fit. A heavy green overcoat or khaki trenchcoat with 
detachable lining, and a red wool muffler were worn 
when needed. All women Marines were required to 
maintain a pair of plain black galoshes, boots, or rub- 
bers to fit the oxfords. 

Officer Winter Dress: Women Marines did not have 
a dress blue uniform until 1952. During World War 
II and the seven years following, officers turned the 
winter service uniform into a dress uniform by ex- 



changing the khaki shirt for one of white and the khaki 
necktie for one of forest green. Enlisted women had 
no comparable dress outfit. 

Summer Service: The summer service uniform was 
a two-piece green and white seersucker or plisse dress. 
It was V-necked and was fastened with green plastic 
buttons. The jacket came in both short and long 
sleeves. The traditional dress cap in matching green, 
with white cap cord and bronze buttons, or a garri- 
son style cap in the same shade was worn with the sum- 
mer service uniform. Shoes, oxfords or pumps, were 
brown. When the trenchcoat was worn, a white rayon 
muffler was required. 

Officers' uniforms were distinguished by green 
shoulder boards worn over the regular epaulets and 
held in place by the shoulder strap button and rank 
insignia. 

Summer Dress: Perhaps the favorite uniform of 
World War II WRs was the short-sleeved, V-necked 
white twill uniform worn with gilt buttons on the jack- 
et and cap, dress emblems, and white pumps. The stif- 
fly starched uniform never failed to evoke 
compliments. Enlisted women Marines were disap- 
pointed when a white uniform was not included in 
the new 1952 wardrobe. It was discontinued because 
male enlisted Marines had no equivalent uniform. 

Officer Summer Dress: Officers had three summer 
dress uniforms: the one worn by the enlisted women 
with the green shoulder straps, summer dress "B," and 
summer undress U C." The latter two were made of 
white twill, worsted, or palm beach fabric. Both were 
worn with a short-sleeved white blouse, and without 
a necktie or shoulder strap. The "C" uniform was long- 
sleeved and collarless. On these two uniforms the dress 
uniform emblems were worn, not on the collar as 
usual, but on the epaulet, three-fourths of an inch 
from the armhole seam. The insignia of rank was then 
centered between the ornament and epaulet button. 
Lieutenant Colonel Nita Bob Warner remembered 
that even a lieutenant looked like a four-star general 
with so much metal on her shoulders. 2 

Handbags, Shoes, and Hose: There was only one 
handbag, a brown, rough textured leather purse with 
a spring closure and shoulder strap. It was always worn 

157 



158 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Issued uniform items and gear, cleaned, ironed, and 
labeled are displayed according to regulations for a 
"junk on the bunk" inspection in the early 1950s, 

over the left shoulder, leaving the right arm free to 
salute, and until 1952 the strap could be worn either 
over or under the epaulets of coats. A green cover and 
strap were added for wear with the summer service and 
summer dress uniforms. 

Women Marines wore smooth leather oxfords or 
pumps in dark brown, dark russet, or cordovan color 
with the service uniform. The pumps, with heels be- 
tween one and one-half and two and one-half inches 
were trimmed with a flat bow. Similar white pumps 
were prescribed for wear with the summer dress 
uniforms. 

Full length, beige stockings were worn with all uni- 
forms. Mesh and seamless hose were prohibited, and 
cotton hose were worn in ranks. When, during World 
War II and immediately after, nylon, rayon, and silk 
stockings were rationed, some women in the other 
Services used leg makeup, but the Directors of the 
Women Marines remained firm. Women in the Ma- 
rine Corps would wear stockings, but never with more 
than three runs. 3 

Utilities and Exercise Suits; During World War II, 
WRs had covert slacks which could be worn for cer- 
tain duties. The most common work uniform, however, 



was the olive-drab, cotton utility uniform. The trous- 
ers were topped by a bib front and long crossed straps 
in back. A short-sleeved, matching shirt was worn un- 
derneath, and a long-sleeved jacket over all. Enlisted 
women stenciled their rank on the shirt and jacket 
sleeves. 

The exercise suit was a light beige, seersucker, one- 
piece bloomer outfit covered by a front- buttoned skirt. 
Known as the peanut suit, because of the color and 
the crinkled appearance, it was issued until the late 
1950s. 

Grooming, Handkerchiefs, and Unmentionables. 
During this period, the regulations specified that, if 
worn, lipstick and nail polish would harmonize with 
the color of the red cap cord on the winter service cap. 
The same rule applied in the summer, even though 
the red cap cord was stored out of sight for the sea- 
son. Rouge, mascara, and hair tints, if used, had to 
be inconspicuous. It was nearly impossible for a woman 
to color or bleach her hair since it had to be the color 
indicated on her identification card. Hair could touch, 
but not cover, the collar. 

The woman Marine winter service "A" uniform 
is modeled by "PFC" Sgt Mary Ann Kennedy, in 1952. 




UNIFORMS 



159 




Officer summer dress "A " adorned 2dLt Marcella J. 
Greene in 1950, Emblems are worn on the epaulets. 

Slips and girdles were required in uniform. At the 
time, the regulations did not specify color or style. 
Handkerchiefs could be khaki when the khaki shirt 
was worn, otherwise, they had to be white. 

The Beginnings of Change— 1950 
Formal Evening/Mess Dress Uniforms 

Officers: A new uniform was added in November 
1950 when the famed designer, Mainbocher, design- 
ed a formal evening dress uniform for Colonel Towle. 
She wore it, the first time, to the Marine Corps Birth- 
day Ball on 10 November, held at the Sail Loft of the 
Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. 

Tall and stately, Colonel Towle wore the uniform 
beautifully, and Major Harry D. Elms, a member of 
the Uniform Board at the time, remembers that Main- 
bocher was much taken with Colonel Towle's appear- 
ance and demeanor. 4 When she suggested to the 
couturier that the uniform fit too closely, Mainbocher 
told her "Just remember, Colonel, when you drink a 
martini, do not eat the olive." 5 

Patterned after the full dress uniform of the men, 
Colonel Towle's uniform consisted of a midnight blue 
mess jacket with a straight, formal skirt slightly flared 
at the hem, over a tailored blouse of white silk, 
trimmed at the waist with a scarlet silk cummerbund. 
The jacket, which bore an even dozen gilt buttons, 



six on each side, was worn open. Its scarlet collar and 
the cuffs of the sleeves were adorned with gold and 
silver bullion embroidery in the form of oak leaves and 
acorns. 

A broad, square-tipped tie was worn at the neck, 
held with a silver ring bearing the Marine Corps of- 
ficer's dress ornament. 

Colonel Towle's insignia of rank, the eagle, was em- 
Co/ Katherine A Towle poses in the evening dress 
suggested for women officers. The uniform designed 
by Mainbocher was patterned after the evening dress 
uniform of the men. It was officially adopted one day 
prior to the Marine Corps' 1 75th birthday celebration. 




160 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



broidered in silver bullion on the shoulder tabs. Also 
in silver and gold bullion were small replicas of the 
Marine insignia on the collar points. The headpiece 
was a scarlet wool tiara, also embroidered. Colonel 
Towle carried a small, envelope-style handbag of her 
own on which she pinned her insignia of rank. A cloak 
was not designed so she borrowed a male officer's boat 
cloak for the occasion. Newspaper accounts spoke of 
the stunning ensemble and dazzled guests. 6 

The evening dress uniform was initially intended 
to be worn by women officers at state and diplomatic 
functions, but its manufacture presented some pro- 
blems. The original had been made, in the manner 
of high fashion, expressly for Colonel Towle. There was 
no pattern to be adopted for general use. All the em- 
broidery had been done by hand by an Italian wom- 
an in New York City and mass production was out of 
the question. 7 

When Colonel Hamblet became Director of Wom- 
en Marines in 1953, she had a similar uniform made 
up by Rienzi in Philadelphia. She selected a softer, 
more feminine shirt with a pleated front to conceal 
the buttons. 8 She felt, however, that the new uniform 
fit her poorly, so Mainbocher was commissioned to 
make another and she subsequently gave the Rienzi 
uniform to Colonel Henderson, her successor. When 
Colonel Hamblet left for Naples in 1959, it was dis- 
covered that there was no sample woman's cloak at the 
Marine Corps Uniform Board, so she left her own be- 
hind. The third Director of Women Marines, Colonel 
Henderson, borrowed the cloak on the occasions when 
she wore the evening dress uniform. Between 1950 and 
1964, only two evening dress uniforms for women were 
made: one for Colonel Towle and the other for Colonel 
Hamblet. 9 

Colonel Henderson was not completely satisfied 
with the tiara. To begin with, the scarlet color was not 
becoming to the redheaded Director. During her te- 
nure a black tiara was made optional, a uniform 
modification that caused no concern since only the 
Director was required to have the formal dress outfit. 
When asked by the President of the Uniform Board 
for comments on the evening dress uniform, she sub- 
mitted: 

Tiara— It is suggested that an attempt be made to slight- 
ly redesign this tiara. As it is presently designed, the wearer 
has difficulty in keeping it on her head. In addition, the 
extreme points on the tiara makes the wearer feel as if she 
had wings or horns on her head— depending upon her 
mood. 10 



The tiara was not redesigned. When in 1964 even- 
ing dress uniforms finally became available to all of- 
ficers, a plain unembroidered one in keeping with 
tradition was made for company grade officers. Field 
grade officers still wore the tiara decorated with gold 
bullion embroidery. Finally, in 1973, to the pleasure 
of some, and the dismay of others, it was deleted as 
a uniform item. 

In 1964, Major Jenny Wrenn, on her own initiative, 
designed an evening dress uniform that resembled a 
long, formal, evening suit. It was much less compli- 
cated than the Mainbocher model. Master Sergeant 
Barbara Jean Dulinsky made the sketches which were 
sent to the Marine Corps Supply Depot at Philadel- 
phia for evaluation. The Marine Corps tailors made 
a uniform, of Major Wrenn's design, for the Director 
of Women Marines, Colonel Barbara J. Bishop. 11 

The Wrenn uniform included a white mess dress 
jacket, as well as the midnight blue evening dress jack- 
et, both trimmed with a scarlet collar. The collar of 
the field grade model was lightly embroidered. Rank 
insignia and Marine emblems were the standard 
detachable type rather than of embroidered gold bul- 
lion. A short skirt was added for less formal occasions 
and a plain black envelope style handbag was carried. 
Shoes were black suede or fabric. 

In November of 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson was 
elected President, the Presidential Inaugural Commit- 
tee asked for Marine field grade officers to act as mili- 
tary aides during the Inaugural events. For the first 
time, two women were nominated, Lieutenant 
Colonels Wrenn and Mary E. Bane. Since neither 
owned the requisite evening dress uniform, the Ma- 
rine Corps tailors in Philadelphia again made up the 
Wrenn-designed uniform. There was little time be- 
tween the election and the Inauguration, so the wom- 
en had to make several quick round trips to 
Philadelphia and at the very last moment the uniforms 
were delivered to them in Washington by staff car. Un- 
fortunately, the beautifully tailored uniforms were not 
worn for the intended occasion as the women officers 
were assigned to less formal functions, a reception for 
the governors and a distinguished ladies reception at 
the National Gallery of Art to which they wore their 
dress blues. 12 

By 1966, the pattern and a kit of fabric and find- 
ings was available to women officers. Due to the small 
number involved no manufacturer was interested in 
making the uniform, so each had to find a willing 
tailor. It was not an easy task because the pattern and 



UNIFORMS 



161 




i 



Col Barbara]. Bishop, the Director of Women Ma- 
rines, wears the officer mess dress uniform with a short 
black skirt, a red cummerbund, white gloves, and 
white jacket trimmed with scarlet collar, in June 1964. 

specifications resembled a technical manual. The kit 
cost between $70 and $100, depending upon rank. 
The tailoring could run an additional $500. 

Staff Noncommissioned Officers: On 11 May 1972, 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Cush- 
man, approved a recommendation of the Uniform 
Board that an experimental staff noncommissioned 
officer evening/mess dress uniform be made for, and 
tested by the Sergeant Major of the Women Marines. 
It was styled after the officer uniform with a few 
modifications. There were no shoulder straps, nor col- 
lar or cuff ornamentation. The sleeves were finished 
with the traditional peaked cuffs. Since male staff non- 
commissioned officers had no corresponding formal 
uniform, it was decided to forego the long skirt. The 
dress insignia of grade, gold on scarlet, was sewn on 
the sleeves. Gilt Marine Corps emblems were worn. 



Sergeant Major June V. Andler was the first to wear 
the test uniform. She introduced it at the Marine 
Corps League Banquet on 11 August 1972 in Ana- 
heim, California, and at the Woman Marine Associa- 
tion convention a week later in Hawaii. She took it 
on inspection trips and modeled it for the WMs at 
Parris Island, El Toro, Camp Pendleton, San Diego, 
Hawaii, and, of course at Headquarters Marine Corps. 
The response was enthusiastic and the uniform was 
approved on 30 May 1973. Subsequently, long skirts 
became very stylish and acceptable at even casual af- 
fairs, a fashion change that prompted the Marine 
Corps to add a long skirt to the staff noncommissioned 
officers' evening dress uniform on 13 September 1976. 

The Mainbocher Wardrobe, 1930-1932 

The Commandant, General Clifton B. Cates, want- 

SgtMaj June V. Andler, Sergeant Major of Women 
Marines, is photographed in 1972 wearing the staff 
noncommissioned officer evening dress uniform with 
short skirt, red cummerbund, and miniature medals. 




162 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



ed dress blue uniforms for the women Marines. In the 
fall of 1950 well-known American designers were con- 
tacted, and First Lieutenant Ben Alice Day (later 
Munn), a World War II supply officer, and Captain 
Harry Elms of the Uniform Board personally inter- 
viewed couturiers including Hattie Carnegie and 
Mainbocher. 13 Mainbocher was the unanimous choice 
of the Uniform Board, Quartermaster General of the 
Marine Corps, and the Director of Women Marines. 
The Chicago -born designer, most expensive of the 
world's dressmakers, was not very interested, but his 
enormous respect for Colonel Towle prevailed and he 
accepted. Lieutenant Colonel Munn believes his lack 
of enthusiasm stemmed from the fact that when he 
designed the World War II WAVE uniform he was not 
paid the one dollar stipulated in the contract and 
would have liked it as a remembrance. When the new 
WM uniforms were finished, Lieutenant Day and Cap- 
tain Elms made a point of presenting him a framed 
dollar bill, the price agreed upon, 

Mainbocher, once involved, asked to do an entire 
new wardrobe, redesigning the current uniforms to be 
more feminine and more becoming. Further, he want- 
ed to work with the accessories, to include chevrons 
and service stripes, which he found too large and out 
of proportion for women. One item he did not change 
was the cap which Mainbocher said was the most at- 
tractive hat worn by women of any service. 

He not only designed the uniform but coordinated 
manufacturing and fabric selection. He personally su- 
pervised every run at the manufacturers, since at the 
time quality control was not yet a standard business 
practice. 

Lieutenant Day and Captain Elms visited his ele- 
gant salon in New York bringing with them photo- 
graphs of the male Marines' complete wardrobe as well 
as historical prints of old Marine Corps uniforms. 
Working with these and aware of Marine Corps tradi- 
tions and standards of appearance, he produced a blue 
uniform, winter and summer service uniform, rain- 
coat and overcoat for all WMs along with new chevrons 
for the enlisted women and a white uniform for the 
officers. 

When interviewed by the press, Mainbocher ex- 
pressed his theories on feminine uniforms thus: 

Whether a woman is wearing a custom designed suit or 
a uniform, she should look feminine. That was the thought 
I kept in mind while working on the Marine uniforms, and 
it was quite a job, considering all the traditions that had 
to be incorporated in the design. 14 



The final designs, approved on 27 December 1951, 
went into production, with the exception of the 
officer's white uniform. Mainbocher supervised all fit- 
tings and was a meticulous taskmaster not only of his 
tailors, but of the women Marine models. With a 
glance, by the drape of the uniform, he could tell 
whether or not a model was wearing a girdle and slip. 
He never allowed his fashions to be worn without 
either item no matter how thin and svelte the wearer. 
When all was ready, a formal presentation was held 
on 28 August 1952 in the auditorium of the Marine 
Barracks, 8th & I Streets, Washington, D.C. The Com- 
mandant sent invitations to a selected guest list in- 
cluding all the Marine Corps general officers in the 
area. At the showing, each model was escorted by a 
male Marine in comparable uniform. Colonel Towle 
modeled her formal evening dress ensemble. 

Sergeant Mary Ann Kennedy modeled the summer 
uniform, a one-piece shirtwaist dress of green and 
white striped nylon-dacron, with a matching long- 
sleeved jacket. The jacket worn over the short sleeved 
dress had a nipped-in waist and its collar, epaulets, 
and cuffs were outlined in green piping. The accom- 
panying overseas cap was of the same fabric. Washing 
ease and wrinkle resistance were the chief features of 
the new summer fabric. 

Sergeant Lois King modeled the forest green serge 
winter uniform. The fitted jacket featured sleeves 
finished with the traditional peaked cuff. A six-gore 
skirt, an entirely new pale green cotton broadcloth 
skirtwaist, and an ascot-shaped forest green necktie 
completed the outfit. 

Technical Sergeant Margaret Babcock introduced the 
new dress blue uniform of a design similar to the green 
serge. Inspiration for the trim was provided by a print 
of an 1859 Marine officer's overcoat. Scarlet piping em- 
phasized the collar and shoulder detail of the blue 
jacket, traditional Marine bracket-shaped cuffs had 
three gold buttons. Chevrons for the enlisted women 
were gold on scarlet, A short-sleeved, action-backed 
dacron shirtwaist was worn with a blue, ascot-shaped 
tie. 

Sergeant Patricia Norman modeled the lightweight, 
green raincoat of nylon and rayon. It featured a 
squared-off collar rather than points, bone buttons, 
and a full belt. 

Sergeant Jo Anne Monette wore the forest green 
double breasted overcoat of kersey. Of a modified prin- 
cess design, a box pleat held in by a belt gave fullness 
in the back. 



UNIFORMS 



163 




Designed by Mainbocher in 1952, new uniforms are modeled on the lawn of the Nation- 
al Capitol by PFC Margaret Keefe and Sgts Margaret Dill and Jo Anne Monette. 



164 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



The fashion show over, the guests attended a sun- 
set parade followed by a reception at Quarters 1 host- 
ed by the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, 
Lieutenant General Gerald C. Thomas and Mrs. Tho- 
mas. 15 This was the same General Thomas who, as the 
Director, Plans and Policy Division in 1946, opposed 
so steadfastly the integration of women into the Regu- 
lar Marine Corps. 

The new uniforms were well received and a model 
in dress blues was featured on the cover of Parade, the 
Sunday picture magazine, on 31 August 1952. 

Mainbocher was willing to design a utility uniform 
but since there were plans for a standardized utility 
uniform among the services, his offer was declined. 
Rather, Headquarters Marine Corps had the bib over- 
alls redesigned. The bib was removed and the olive 
green slacks were made of the male Marines' utility 
fabric. The aim was to keep it simple. The overseas 
cap was redesigned slightly to follow the new dacron 
one which fit the women better. To get a manufac- 
turer to accept such a small order, it was appended 
to a much more lucrative order for men's uniforms, 
a ploy often used in procuring WM uniform items. 

Male Marines at Headquarters became uncommonly 
interested in the new uniforms, not because of style 
but due to the new fabrics. Dupont Corporation sent 
a team of scientists to demonstrate the properties of 
dacron, a new material at the time. It was a pure, fire- 
proof fabric and the men were greatly impressed. They 
could picture its usefulness for men's uniforms to save 
laundry expense and for combat purposes. When first 
introduced this particular dacron was used to make 
firehoses. 

Eventually the World War II uniforms were declared 
obsolete; old summer uniforms could not be worn af- 
ter December 1956, winter uniforms after June 1957. 

Officers' Dress White Uniform: Mainbocher 
designed a white uniform at the time he did the new 
wardrobe in 1952. Distribution was delayed until 1958 
due to difficulty in obtaining a suitable wash-and-wear 
fabric that would remain white. The uniform was 
styled after the winter service uniform, and worn with 
the same white short-sleeved dacron shirt prescribed 
for the dress blues. A bright blue-green cap, ascot 
shaped tie, and white pumps completed the outfit. 
At first, a green cover was worn over the brown hand- 
bag, just as was done in World War II. When the 
brown handbag was later replaced by a new style, a 
small envelope-styled purse was adopted for certain 



dress uniforms. When carried with the whites, it was, 
of course, slipped into a blue-green cover. 

The white uniform is worn only by officers, in keep- 
ing with Marine Corps tradition. During World War 
II, enlisted WRs had a dress white uniform while the 
men did not. Conversely, the men had a dress blue 
uniform while the women did not. 

After Mainbocher 

The Mainbocher wardrobe was the only large-scale 
uniform change for women Marines. His theories on 
dressing military women have proved sound since at 
least two of his designs, the dress blue and winter serv- 
ice uniforms, have remained virtually unchanged for 
the 25 years from 1952 until this writing. Ensuing 
changes came piecemeal and usually were directed by 
economy rather than style. 

The Department of Defense plan to standardize cer- 
tain items and fabrics made their impact on WM uni- 
forms in the early 1960s. 

Summer Uniforms 1961-1977: There was no mid- 
dle ground for the acceptance of the one-piece dress. 
Either a woman liked it or did not. For those who were 
long- or short-waisted, the summer uniform with its 
band at the waist was nearly impossible to alter proper- 
ly. But the fabric was all it was touted to be. After wear- 
ing and caring for the easily wrinkled seersucker 
uniform which by custom was starched so that a skirt 
could stand at attention, unsupported on the laun- 
dry room floor, the women Marines found the dacron 
dress to be truly carefree. One could wear it all day, 
get caught in the rain, and still look fresh. Unfor- 
tunately, the fabric became scarce and expensive and 
the Marine Corps had no choice but to consider a 
material shared by the other services since the increased 
quantity ordered reduced the price. Colonel Margaret 
M. Henderson remembers that one of her most dis- 
appointing days as Director of Women Marines was 
one when she had to acquiesce on the fabric for the 
summer uniforms. 16 

In 1962, a dacron-cotton cloth used by the Wom- 
en's Army Corps was approved for use by women Ma- 
rines. Logistically, it became very complicated since 
uniforms of mixed fabric could not be worn. The dress, 
jacket, and cap had to match, and supplies available 
for each issue to recruits varied from one item to 
another and from one size to another. When the fabric 
was again changed to polyester-cotton, more confu- 
sion resulted. 

In 1966, an entirely new two-piece dress made of 
the same polyester-cotton, corded, green-and-white 



UNIFORMS 



165 




A green dacron raincoat worn with the winter red wool 
scarf is modeled by Cpl Carla J. Sacco in 1959. 

striped material was approved. Recruits began to 
receive it in July 1967. The old-style uniform became 
obsolete and could no longer be worn after 1 July 1972. 
Women officers did not wear rank insignia on their 
new summer caps. Because male Marines continued 
to wear rank ornaments on their garrison caps, this 
difference for the women caused a certain amount of 
confusion. Marines who failed to salute were justified 
in their claim that it was difficult to recognize wom- 
en officers. On 20 October 1971, the rank insignia offi- 
cially was reinstated on the women officers' caps. 

Another change involving summer uniforms was 
seen in 1966 when women officers were authorized to 
wear the summer dress cap, a bright green version of 
the winter service and dress blue cap, as an optional 
item when on leave or liberty. When worn with sum- 
mer uniform, bronze buttons and insignia were worn 
rather than gilt buttons and dress insignia. Field grade 
officers, if they elected to wear the dress cap with the 
service uniform, were required to wear one with a plain 



visor, without gold embroidery. In 1969, the regula- 
tions were broadened and officers could wear the dress 
cap on an everyday basis except when in formation. 
This privilege was extended to staff noncommissioned 
officers in 1971. 

Coats'. In time the nipped-in waist and full-pleated 
back of the Mainbocher coat went out of style. Fur- 
thermore, the complicated styling, and excess fabric 
made it expensive to manufacture. It clearly did not 
flatter short, stocky figures. In 1966 Mario Mariani, 
the Marine Corps' designer, introduced a straight- 
lined, serge overcoat styled after the civilian coats in 
vogue at the time. 17 By the winter of 1967, as old stocks 
were depleted the new overcoat was issued to recruits. 

Shoes: In 1954 the bows on the brown dress shoes 
became optional except that they could not be re- 
moved from the issue pumps. By 1962, long after they 
became socially acceptable, women Marines were al- 
lowed to wear seamless hose as an optional item, but 

The green utility uniform with rank stenciled on the 
sleeves is worn by Sgt Mary A. Kennedy in 1952. 




166 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



never in formation. The regulation was reversed in 
1965 when hose with seams became optional and 
could not be worn in formation. Finally in 1966, snag- 
proof, run-resistant stockings of inconspicuous mesh 
were authorized. In January 1971, the color of hose 
to be worn with dress blues changed from everyday 
beige to a gray, smoke shade. 

The cotton hose worn by WRs in World War II and 
for years by WM recruits and officer candidates were 
universally unpopular. Because of the extreme heat 
and strenuous schedule followed at both training com- 
mands, the absorbent property of cotton stockings was 
long considered to be a health and comfort feature. 
Civilian women, upon arriving at Parris Island or 
Quantico and seeing staff members wearing the un- 
becoming lisle hose were disbelieving that anyone 

The woman officer white dress "A" uniform with a 
green tie, purse, and field grade gold embroidered 
hat, is modeled by Maj Adele Graham in 1971. 







younger than a grandmother would allow themselves 
to be seen in public in such an item. It was not an 
unwelcome announcement that Colonel Bishop made 
in the Woman Marine Newsletter, Winter 1968, when 
she wrote: 

A traditional article of clothing— not altogether ap- 
preciated by the recruits wearing them— will be obsolete 
when the current stock of cotton hose is exhausted. The old 
lisle or cotton hose were a necessity for WRs when nylons 
"went to war". . . . Discarded years before by other women's 
services, the Marine Corps — always long on tradi- 
tion—became the "sole user" of cotton hose. At some fu- 
ture date this year, Women Marine recruits may have "lighter" 
pocketbooks and tender feet, but higher morale and trim- 
mer limbs. 18 

Umbrellas: All Marines know that umbrellas are not 
a military item. There is a theory that several armies 
of old who carried umbrellas went down in defeat be- 
cause they were more concerned with keeping dry than 
winning the battle. Women Marines had a plastic cover 
called a havelock that fit over their cap and a hood 
that matched their raincoat, but there was always some 
question about wearing them without the outer coat. 
The havelocks were difficult to procure and tore easi- 
ly; the rainhoods were not authorized with the over- 
coat. Clearly, many WMs wanted an umbrella. In 
1972, the Commandant authorized WMs to carry an 
all-black, plain, standard or folding umbrella as an 
optional item. The announcement included the cau- 
tion to carry the umbrella in the left hand so that sa- 
lutes could be properly rendered. They were not 
permitted in formation. A story circulated that 
Colonel Sustad, Director of Women Marines, in her 
effort to have the umbrella adopted as a uniform item, 
slipped the proposal through the Commandant by 
asking him to approve a red umbrella to harmonize 
with the red cord. He was said to have replied, 'Ab- 
solutely not! They'll carry a black umbrella," thereby 
sanctioning its use. When asked about the story, 
Colonel Sustad disclaimed it saying, "I would never 
have been so fresh with the Commandant." 19 

Handbags: When black accessories became man- 
datory, and women of all services adopted a single 
handbag, WMs lost the rough- textured leather bag 
for a black vinyl model. In 1970 regulations changed 
to permit the individual option to carrying the hand- 
bag over the left shoulder as usual or with a shorten- 
ed strap, over the arm. A woman sergeant major asked, 
"How can you stand at attention for morning colors 
with a handbag over your arm?" The question remains 
unanswered. 



UNIFORMS 



167 



Grooming and Personal Appearance 

The grooming and personal appearance of women 
Marines changed slowly. World War II regulations 
prevailed for nearly 30 years. Bright red lipstick, "Mon- 
tezuma Red," created by Elizabeth Arden for the WRs, 
and later Revlon's "Certainly Red" were the only shades 
sold at post exchanges that catered to WMs. The policy 
was clear: lipstick had to harmonize with the red cap 
cord of the blue and green caps and the scarlet trim 
on the formal evening dress uniform, even when the 
wearer was in the green and white summer uniform 
or dress whites. In 1971, the regulations were relaxed 
to allow others shades of lipstick in the summer. Ex- 
tremes of lavender, purple, white, or flesh color re- 
mained prohibited. Nail polish, if worn, had to 
harmonize with the lipstick or be colorless. 

Hairstyles and Wigs: The first major change to hair 
styles and color regulations came in 1970 when specific 
hairstyles were not prohibited as long as they were 
feminine and allowed for the proper wearing of the 
cap. One reason for the change was the popularity of 
the Afro hairdo worn by young black women. It also 
accommodated chignons and twists. Hair tints and 
bleaches were no longer taboo but were required to 
harmonize with the person's complexion and color 
tone. Natural looking wigs were permitted as long as 
they conformed to regulations. 

Lingerie-. Girdles and light-colored, full-length slips 
were the modest underpinning of WMs for 30 years. 
Paula W. Sentipal remembers that when she report- 
ed to boot camp in 1950 she was so thin that with 
a girdle on her uniform could not be taken in enough 
to fit her, so she was ordered to buy a larger girdle 
that would not hold her in. 20 Bras were one unmen- 
tionable that did not have to be mentioned. Until the 
women's liberation movement made going braless 
fashionable in the 1970s, it was never an issue. The 
uniform regulations of 1976, in the spirit of the times, 
stated: 

Adequate undergarments to include support garments 
shall be worn to ensure the proper fit, appearance, and 
opaqueness of the uniform. The conservative appearance of 
the uniform shall be maintained and undergarments shall 
not be conspicuously visible. 21 

Hem lengths-. The style of the uniform was able to 
withstand fashion changes from 1952 to 1977, but hem 
lengths were as controversial for servicewomen as 
civilians. When the Mainbocher wardrobe was issued, 
the regulations specified that skirts would be of a con- 
ventional sweep and length, approximately mid-calf. 




<*/ 



j 



The green and white striped two-piece summer ser- 
vice dacron uniform with black handbag and pumps 
was worn by officers and enlisted women in the 1970s. 

By the early 1960s, fashion dictated shorter skirts, but 
regulations persisted. At one point, Lieutenant 
Colonel Elsie E. Hill, Commanding Officer, Woman 
Recruit Training Battalion, wrote to the Director of 
Woman Marines, Colonel Henderson, and asked for 
guidelines since she agreed with the women that 
". . . we look like a bunch of hicks from the sticks." 22 
Women's fashions being fickle, Headquarters did not 
want to give specific rules that would necessitate print- 
ed changes as skirts went up and down, so in 1963, 
following the phrase "midcalf ' a parenthetical guide- 
line was added that read, "(adjusted to current styles 
but not extreme)." 23 At the same time, the Director's 



168 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



office passed the word informally that two inches be- 
low the knee was officially considered acceptable. In 
more than one women Marine company, skirt short- 
ening parties were held under the watchful eyes of staff 
noncommissioned officers and officers, who, on their 
knees and using the width of two fingers as a measur- 
ing device, passed judgement on the length of uni- 
form skirts, dresses, and coats. 

Skirts continued to rise to the mini-length, and all 
services except the Marine Corps relented. In a Worn- 
an Marine Newsletter oi 1970, Colonel Bishop wrote: 

. . . conventional sweep and length is currently interpreted 
as mid-knee, i.e., between the top of the knee and the bot- 
tom of the knee. Since the skirt can be worn anywhere be- 
tween the top of the knee and the bottom of the knee, this 
allows for some flexibility so that the individual can wear 
her skirt the length that is most becoming to her. 

No doubt the young WMs hoped for more flexibility 
since civilian skirts were being worn 4 to 6 inches above 
the knee, but the message from the top woman Ma- 
rine clearly marked the limits. 

The 1976 regulations called for knee-length skirts, 
not more than one inch above the top of the knee cap 
nor one inch below the bottom of the knee cap. Alas, 
as the order was being printed, civilian skirts were back 
down to mid-calf, completing the full cycle. 

Utilities 

The hastily designed green utilities available in the 
early 1950s were not beautiful, but they served their 
intended purpose as a work uniform. Unfortunately, 
they were part of the woman Marine wardrobe when 
most WMs were working in offices. Wearing utilities 
was vigorously discouraged except when considered ab- 
solutely essential because the effect was too masculine. 
Great pains were taken to keep them out of view and 
it was an unwritten law that photographs of WMs in 
utilities were not to be published. The standardiza- 
tion of uniforms by the four services resulted in a com- 



mon blue utility outfit, dark blue slacks, cap, and 
sweater, and a light blue shirt. Recruits received the 
new blue utilities in July 1967 and the green ones were 
not permitted after July 1971. The new uniform, while 
more feminine in appearance, was never truly accept- 
ed by WMs because it made them look like WAVEs 
and was not durable. Even male Marines who were 
chauvinistic about keeping the Marine Corps for men 
found the blue uniform offensive and decided that 
they preferred their women Marines to look like Ma- 
rines. At first, the black insignia of service was worn 
on the blue cap but the dark color lacked contrast and 
the gold emblem was adopted on the utility cap in 
1970. 

The blue utilities were threadbare by the time a 
woman graduated from boot camp and commanders 
made their dissatisfaction known to Headquarters. 
With women Marines subject to assignment as heavy 
equipment operators, welders, and to similar oc- 
cupations, a more functional work uniform was need- 
ed. On 22 September 1975 the Commandant 
authorized as an interim measure, a supplementary 
allowance of male utilities to women to be worn un- 
der restricted conditions depending upon their job. 24 
Wear-testing of several styles began in an effort to find 
a suitable uniform to replace the blue, which by 1975 
had been abandoned by all the other services. In June 
1977, General Wilson approved the wearing by wom- 
en of the male camouflaged field uniform. Combat 
boots replaced the black oxfords and cushion-sole socks 
took the place of anklets for WMs at work in certain 
jobs and in training. 25 

Consistent with an age when male/female roles were 
less clearly defined, there appeared to be less urgency 
to prove that service women were feminine. Photo- 
graphs of the jet mechanics, welders, and officer can- 
didates wearing utilities were taken and published and 
only the older officers and staff noncommissioned 
officers were scandalized. 



CHAPTER 15 

Laurels and Traditions 

Legion of Merit —Navy and Marine Corps Medal— Bronze Star Medal— Joint Service Commendation Medal 

Dominican Republic— WM Anniversary — Women Marines and Mess Night 

Molly Marine — Women Marines Association 



Women Marines recognized for meritorious per- 
formance and bravery have been awarded many of the 
same medals, ribbons, and letters of appreciation and 
commendation presented to male Marines under simi- 
lar circumstances. The highest decoration, at this writ- 
ing, worn by women in the Corps is the Legion of 
Merit. A few are privileged to wear the Navy and Ma- 
rine Corps Medal, Bronze Star, and the Navy Com- 
mendation Medal, and a number have been awarded 
the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy 
Achievement Medal. 

Legion of Merit 

Following a tradition set in World War II, the Legion 
of Merit, the Navy's fifth ranking decoration, falling 
immediately below the Silver Star and conferred on 
individuals ". . . who have distinguished themselves 
by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the perfor- 
mance of outstanding services. . . " has been award- 
ed to all Directors of Women Marines. Their citations 
underscore the particular challenges faced by each one, 
and read consecutively, they trace the history of wom- 
en in the Marine Corps through the stages of organi- 
zation, expansion, and total integration. 1 

Only one woman Marine, other than the Directors, 
was the recipient of the Legion of Merit. Upon retire- 
ment in May 1975, Colonel Hazel E. Benn, Head, 
Educational Services Branch, was cited for her work 
in formulating educational programs for both officers 
and enlisted Marines. 2 

Colonel Benn's career was unique in that as a Reserve 
officer on active duty, she worked for 24 years at the 
same job. She was the Marine Corps' expert on edu- 
cation and as new programs developed, her responsi- 
bilities increased. A member of the second officer 
candidate class at Mount Holyoke College in 1943, she 
served as a personnel /administrative officer in World 
War II. Following the war, after receiving a graduate 
degree in education, she worked for the Navy as an 
education specialist, and in 1951, was asked to return 
to the Marine Corps. A principal architect of the Serv- 
iceman's Opportunity College, she helped to develop 
the concept that removed the traditional academic bar- 



rier in the areas of residency, transfer of credit by ex- 
amination, and acceptance of service schools and 
service experience for academic credit, thereby easing 
the road to college degrees for countless Marines. 3 
Colonel Benn was among the first women Marines to 
be promoted to colonel in 1968, only months after 
that rank was opened to women. 

Navy and Marine Corps Medal 

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal, ranking eighth 
in precedence — between the Distinguished Flying 
Cross and the Bronze Star— and the Naval Service's 
highest recognition for heroism not involving combat 
has been awarded to four women Marines. Staff Ser- 
geant Barbara O. Barnwell, first woman ever to win 
the medal, was decorated on 7 August 1953 by General 
Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Commandant of the Marine 
Corps, for saving a Marine's life in the Atlantic Ocean 
off Camp Lejeune. A Marine since May 1949, she was 
attached to the staff of the Inspector-Instructor, 1st 
Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company at Fort 
Schuyler, New York, at the time of the incident. 4 Her 
citation reads: 

Hearing a cry for help from a man struggling in the heavy 
surf some 50 feet outward from her position while she was 
swimming in deep water approximately 120 yards from the 
shore, Sergeant Barnwell immediately swam to the rescue 
and, although severely scratched on the arm and repeated- 
ly dragged beneath the surface by the drowning Marine, se- 
cured a hold on him and commenced to swim to the beach. 
Despite the treacherous undertow which constantly carried 
her outward from the shore, she bravely maintained her hold 
until she had reached shallow water and, assisted by a 
lifeguard, succeeded in bringing the unconscious man to 
the safety of the beach. By her exceptional courage, daring 
initiative and selfless efforts on behalf of another in face of 
grave peril, Sergeant Barnwell was directly instrumental in 
saving the Marine's life and upheld the highest traditions 
of the United States Naval Service. 5 

Staff Sergeant Barnwell struggled for 20 exhausting 
minutes to rescue Private First Class Frederick Hernan- 
dez Roman. Once she saw that artificial respiration 
was successful and that the man was going to live, she 
walked away without even giving her name. Roman's 
was, after all, the third life she had saved. When she 

169 



170 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




In 1955, Ma/ Hazel E. Benn, USMCR, was head of 
Education and Information Section, Special Services, 
Personnel Department, HQMC. She received the 
Legion of Merit upon retirement in 191 5 for formulat- 
ing innovative educational programs for Marines. 



herself was only a child of 11 she saved a seven-year- 
old from drowning. Later, at 16 she brought a young 
woman safely to shore. 

In addition to the medal presentation in the Com- 
mandant's office, Staff Sergeant Barnwell was honored, 
along with six male officers, at a retreat ceremony at 
the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. It was the first 
time that a woman was so honored. 6 

Gunnery Sergeant Dorothy L. Kearns became the 
second woman Marine in history to receive the Navy 
and Marine Corps Medal when it was presented to her 
by Colonel Margaret M. Henderson, Director of Wom- 
en Marines, on 25 June 1963 at a parade at the Iwo 
Jima Memorial in Arlington. 7 The award read: 

For heroic conduct on the morning of 5 February 1961 
while serving with the United States Marine Corps Recruit- 
ing Station, San Francisco, California. Hearing cries from 
help emanating from an upstairs apartment in the same 
building in which she resided, Gunnery Sergeant Kearns im- 
mediately rushed to the assistance of a woman who was be- 
ing attacked with a knife by a mentally deranged man. After 



SSgt Barbara 0, Barnwell (third from left) was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Me- 
dal on 7 August 1953 by Gen Lemuel C Shepherd, Jr., for saving a Marine's life in 
the Atlantic Ocean off Camp Lejeune. Director Col Julia E. Hamblet (right) attended. 




LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 



171 



pulling the assailant from the victim, disarming him, and 
forcing him away, she rendered first aid to the victim and 
attempted to calm the attacker. She then telephoned the 
hospital which, in turn, notified the police. While Gunnery 
Sergeant Kearns was admitting the police at the apartment 
building entrance, the deranged man again armed himself 
and succeeded in inflicting fatal wounds upon the victim 
as the police were entering the room. By her courageous and 
selfless efforts in the face of grave personal risk, Gunnery 
Sergeant Kearns upheld the highest traditions of the Unit- 
ed States Naval Service. 8 

A World War II Marine, Gunnery Sergeant Kearns had 
been one of the women retained at Headquarters Ma- 
rine Corps after the war, serving continuously until 
her retirement in May 1966. 

First Lieutenant Vanda K. Brame (later Bresnan), 
serving at the Marine Corps Officer Selection Office 
in Des Moines, Iowa, was awarded the Navy and Ma- 
rine Corps Medal for thwarting the holdup of a blind 
man's shop on 10 April 1970. Having lunch in the Fed- 
eral Building Lunch Shop, the petite lieutenant saw 
a man taking money from an unattended cash draw- 

GySgt Dorothy L. Kearns is presented the Navy and 
Marine Corps Medal by Col Margaret M. Henderson, 
Director of Women Marines, in 25 June 1963 ceremo- 
nies, for rushing to the assistance of a woman being 
attacked with a knife by a mentally deranged man. 





IstLt Vanda K. Brame was presented the Navy and 
Marine Corps Medal by BGen Harry C. Olson, Com- 
manding General, Marine Corps Supply Center, Bar- 
stow, California, on 24 November 1970, for heroism 
in thwarting the holdup of a blind man s shop in Iowa. 

er while an accomplice stood guard. The citation 
describing her heroic reaction read: 

Immediately realizing that the owner was unaware of the 
attempted robbery and helpless to defend his property, First 
Lieutenant Brame unhesitantly, and without regard for her 
own safety, pursued, seized, and threw the thief to the floor. 
The accomplice became unnerved by her aggressive action 
and fled. The thief succeeded in breaking away, but he 
dropped the stolen money as he attempted to escape on foot. 
She continued to pursue him and attracted the attention 
of several onlookers who joined the chase and apprehended 
the man after he had run several blocks. It was through her 
courageous and heroic determination in the face of danger 
that the handicapped owner was saved from bodily harm 
and personal loss, and the thief was captured, placed in the 
hands of the police, and finally identified as a potentially 
dangerous user of narcotics. First Lieutenant Brame's heroic 
action reflected great credit upon herself and upheld the 
highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States 
Naval Service. 9 

Brigadier General Harry C Olson, Commanding 
General, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, 
presented the medal to Lieutenant Brame, then com- 
manding officer of the Woman Marine Company 
there, at an awards and retirement parade on 25 
November 1970. 10 

Lance Corporal Sheryl L. \bung received the highest 
noncombat decoration for heroism in June 1977 for 
her part in freeing a mother and two small children 
from a wrecked car moments before it exploded. On 
15 October 1976, while students at the Legal Services 



172 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




LCplSherylL. Young was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Medal by BGen Robert 
J. Chadwick, Director, Judge Advocate Division, in June 1977, for her part in freeing 
a mother and two small children from a wrecked car moments before it exploded. 



School at Camp Pendleton, then Private Young and 
a companion, Private First Class Thomas J. Maue, were 
walking in town when they heard a crash. Running 
to the intersection, they heard cries from an auto en- 
gulfed in flames. Private First Class Maue removed the 
occupants one by one, handed them to Private %ung, 
and both Marines administered first aid and comforted 
the victims until the police and fire departments 
arrived. 11 

Brigadier General Robert J. Chadwick, Director of 
the Judge Advocate Division, presented the Navy and 
Marine Corps Medal to Lance Corporal Young on be- 
half of the President of the United States for the dar- 
ing rescue. Her citation read: 

Upon arriving at the scene of a traffic accident in Ocean- 
side, which left three victims pinned in a burning automo- 
bile, Lance Corporal ^bung, with complete disregard for her 
own safety and fully aware of the personal dangers involved, 
unhesitatingly assisted her Marine companion in removing 
the victims from the vehicle before the gas tank exploded. 
Her courageous and prompt actions in the face of great per- 
sonal risk undoubtedly saved three lives; thereby reflecting 
great credit upon herself and upholding the highest tradi- 
tions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval 
Service. 12 



Bronze Star Medal 

The Bronze Star, with combat "V," awarded to per-, 
sons who have distinguished themselves by heroic or 
meritorious achievement or service in connection with 
military operations against an armed enemy, has been 
awarded to three women Marine officers, all of whom 
served in Vietnam. The first recipient, Captain Shirley 
E. Leaverton, served as the Marine Corps Officer in 
Charge, Marine Corps Personnel Section, on the staff 
of the Commander, Naval Forces, Vietnam, from April 
1970 until 1971. Serving as Historians, Military His- 
tory Branch, Secretary, Joint Staff, United States Mili- 
tary Assistance Command, Vietnam, Lieutenant 
Colonel Ruth J. O'Holleran and later Lieutenant 
Colonel Ruth F. Reinholz were also awarded the 
Bronze Star Medal. 13 

Joint Service Commendation Medal 

Women Marines recognized for superior perfor- 
mance on joint staffs, especially for duty in Europe 
and in Vietnam, have often been awarded the Joint 
Service Commendation Medal. The first recipient, 
Captain Elaine I. Primeau, who was fatally injured in 
an automobile accident while on duty on the staff of 



LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 



173 



the Commander in Chief, U. S. Forces, Europe, was 
decorated posthumously in the spring of 1964. 14 

Dominican Republic 

The first woman Marine to be assigned attache du- 
ty coincidentally became the first to serve under hostile 
fire. Staff Sergeant Josephine S. Gebers (later Davis), 
intelligence specialist and administrative assistant to 
the Air Force attache, reported to Santo Domingo in 
July 1963. During the turmoil that followed the over- 
throw of the government in April 1965, Staff Sergeant 
Gebers was offered the opportunity to leave with the 
American women and children but chose to remain 
at her post. She assisted in the evacuation and then, 
in addition to her duties, took charge of the commis- 
sary to ensure equitable distribution of available sup- 
plies; prepared food armed with only an electric fry 
pan, a toaster, and a hot plate; brought meals to the 
ambassador twice daily; and took turns at the embassy 
switchboard. 15 



At the outbreak of the revolt, rebels surrounded the 
embassy complex and the staff was confined for near- 
ly 10 days until the 6th Marine Expeditionary Unit 
landed. In a letter to Staff Sergeant Joan S. Ambrose, 
dated 7 May 1965, Staff Sergeant Gebers wrote: 

I have been living in the Attache office, sleeping on the 
floor, chair or anything I can grab, fixing chow for the at- 
taches and male clerks etc., running across the street with 
messages as the telephones were out under gunfire, wan- 
dering around in the dark ... no electricity or water, every- 
thing was out. Almost all the Americans here have invested 
in freezers and we all lost hundreds of dollars of frozen foods. 
I managed to get back to my apartment in time to give all 
my frozen food to my Dominican neighbors, so I don't feel 
it was a total loss. My apartment is located in a neutral zone 
and has not been the center of activity. My landlord and 
neighbors are watching my apartment so no one can loot it. 

Joannie, I still can't believe all that has happened. The 
first day, the Marines landed of course, was quite a thrill 
and all so exciting. They drove in in trucks, jeeps, tanks, 
LVTs, etc. and scattered into their positions all around the 
embassy. Of course that night and for a few days following, 



SSgt Josephine S. Gebers, who later was authorized to wear the Armed Forces Expedi- 
tionary Medal and Combat Action Ribbon as a result of hostile action in the overthrow 
of the Dominican Republic government in April 1965, reads the Commandant's Marine 
Corps birthday message on 10 November 1965, at the U.S. Embassy, Santo Domingo. 




174 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Capt Elaine T. Carville, company commander, serves cake to TSgt Mary Quinn on the 
8th anniversary of the Women Marines, 13 February 1951, at Marine Corps Schools. 



it wasn't so thrilling as we were being fired on by nearby 
snipers. 16 

On 1 September 1966, in a ceremony in his office, 
General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., presented the Joint 
Service Commendation Medal to Gunnery Sergeant 
Gebers, then administrative chief to the Comman- 
dant. Additionally, she was authorized to wear the 
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and later, the 
Combat Action Ribbon — reportedly the first WM to 
do so. First Sergeant Josephine Gebers Davis remain- 
ed on active duty until August 1971. 17 

WM Anniversary 

The tradition began on 13 February 1944 when 
much was made of the first anniversary of the entry 
of women into the Marine Corps. Mrs. Franklin D. 
Roosevelt, wife of the President; Acting Secretary of 
the Navy Ralph A. Baird; the Commandant of the Ma- 
rine Corps, General Vandegrift; and Colonel Streeter 
headed the list of dignitaries at a ceremony conduct- 
ed at Fort Myer, Virginia. 18 Since then, the anniver- 
sary of the women Marines has been the subject of 



some controversy— at times celebrated with muclven- 
couragement and at other times purposely neglected 
by the upper levels at Headquarters in an effort to en- 
courage all Marines to acknowledge one birthday, the 
10th of November. To further complicate the issue, 
the women who served in World War I questioned the 
use of 1943 as a point of reference. Colonel Towle wrote 
a memorandum on the subject in 1951 stating: 

The formation of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve of 
World War II was officially announced by the CMC, General 
Thomas Holcomb, on 13 February 1943, under the provi- 
sions of the Naval Reserve Act of 1938, as amended. It is 
that anniversary which is recognized each year by women 
who served in World War II; hence the Eighth Anniversary, 
13 February 1951. 19 

During World War II and immediately after, the 
celebration of the occasion was an effective way to raise 
morale, keep up the interest of former WMs, and in 
general to enhance the prestige of women in the serv- 
ice. Celebrations have varied according to local cus- 
toms, but normally included a cake-cutting ceremony 
attended by the commanding general, the battalion 
commander, and all WMs, officers and enlisted, at the 



LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 



175 



noon meal at the mess hall; formal messages from the 
Commandant and the Director of Women Marines; 
a women Marine color guard to raise the flag; and an 
evening party, often a formal dance. A sizable num- 
ber of male Marines took up the habit of joining the 
women in celebrating the anniversary. Long after he 
retired, former Commandant General Greene con- 
tinued to call the Director of Women Marines on 13 
February to wish her a "Happy Anniversary." 20 

Mrs. John B. Cook, wife of Brigadier General Cook, 
said that she never can forget the date of the WM an- 
niversary since it coincides with her wedding anniver- 
sary. Twice the battalion commander of women 
Marines, the general made it a point to celebrate their 
mutual anniversaries together. Mrs. Cook remembers 
that one 13 February in Philadelphia, when he was 
not commanding women Marines, the general took 
her to a restaurant for dinner, but as soon as the meal 
was finished, he said, "Well, let's go the club and have 
a drink with the WMs." 21 

Colonel Randolph McC. Pate, Director of Division 
of Reserve during the post-World War II period, in- 
augurated the tradition of giving red roses to the 
Director of Women Marines on 13 February— one for 
each year being commemorated. Major Hamblet, as 

Woman Marine anniversary cake prepared by the Mess 
Hall, Camp Pendleton, California, in February 1966. 




m? ■ » *m 




Director of the Women's Reserve, received the first 
bouquet. Later, when the Director became a member 
of the Commandant's staff, each succeeding Comman- 
dant continued the custom. 22 Sometime in the 1970s, 
as emphasis on a separate anniversary for women 
waned, Colonel Sustad received the last bouquet of 
red roses from General Cushman. 

In addition to the roses, for many years, the Com- 
mandant sent a formal message to all women Marines 
to mark the special day. On the occasion of the eighth 
anniversary of the founding of the Women's Reserve, 
General Cates, then Commandant, wrote gallantly to 
Colonel Towle: 

It was a proud day in the annals of the Corps when the 
women joined us in 194}. \bur record of achievement since 
then well merited the permanent recognition of Women Ma- 
rines. The filling of your ranks by Regulars and Reserves since 
the outbreak in Korea has greatly aided our Corps to attain 
new glories. All ranks in the Corps join me today in a fond 
salute to our "lady Marines." 23 

In 1953, Headquarters encouraged all commands 
to promote, celebrate, and publicize the observance, 
but in 1954, the Chief of Staff directed that nothing 
should " . . emanate from this Headquarters in con- 
nection with the 11th anniversary of the women Ma- 
rines, 13 February 1954." 24 Two years later, the 
Commandant, General Pate sent a similar message to 
the Director which stated: 

I have directed no specific Marine Corps-wide observance 
of the 13th Anniversary of the service of women in our Corps. 
This was for the sound and satisfying reason that Women 
Marines are now a completely integrated part of our Corps. 
I felt certain that as a permanent and integral part of our 
Corps and sharing alike in all our traditions, our Women 
Marines would consider a separate celebration to be inap- 
propriate. 

However, I cannot let this occasion pass without exten- 
ding a greeting to you as the representative of all Women 
Marines. I should also like to congratulate you on the splen- 
did manner in which you are discharging this responsibility. 

My very best wishes to you and all Women Marines for 
the future. 25 

The local celebrations continued, nevertheless, and 
General Pate relented by resuming the habit of send- 
ing greetings to all women Marines in the ensuing 
years. 

Apparently, when General David M. Shoup became 
Commandant the propriety of the observance was 
again questioned. Colonel Henderson, the director, 
prepared a year-by-year study of the celebrations and 
concluded with the thoughts: 



176 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




The women Marines of Camp Pendleton are aided in celebrating their 28th anniversary 
at the traditional cake-cutting ceremony by ColEmilJ. Radics, base chief of staff . From 
left are PFCs Julia Krauss andBrenda Baker, Col Radics, and Maj Georgia Swickheimer. 



It is my personal belief that the Women Marines think 
of 13 February 1943 not as a birthday, but as the date which 
commemorates the opportunity given them to become a part 
of the Marine Corps and to share in all its traditions. Be- 
cause of this belief and their esprit de corps, I recommend 
that they continue to celebrate their anniversary. 

I know that it will please every woman in the Corps to 
have a personal message of recognition from the Comman- 
dant and make her prouder than ever of being a woman 
Marine. 26 

And so it went until the question was settled once 
and for all in 1974. The Commandant made known 
that in the future only 10 November would be ac- 
knowledged by a CMC message. Colonel Brewer, 
Director of Women Marines, agreed with the theory 
that, with *'. . . increased effectiveness in the utiliza- 
tion of women Marines as an integral part of the Corps, 
it is appropriate and timely to discontinue the prac- 
tice of publishing 'WM Anniversary' messages by the 



Commandant and the Director of Women Marines." 27 
Referring, however, to the wide reaching changes in 
policy approved by the Commandant in 1973, she rea- 
soned that a final message would be an excellent way 
to reemphasize the increased opportunties for wom- 
en Marines and to announce the discontinuance of the 
tradition. 28 General Cushman, therefore, in the final 
anniversary message, said: 



With each passing year, we Marines working together will 
meet the challenges of the future, willing and able to ful- 
fill our responsibilities as the "Nation's Force In Readiness," 

In recognition of the role of the women members of our 
Corps in fulfilling this mission, and since all Marines share 
one Birthday, it seems appropriate to recognize your achieve- 
ments for this, the last time, as a separate, special occasion. 
Accordingly, we pause today to reflect on the day 31 years 
ago when women became members of our Marine Corps 
team ready to meet all challenges. 29 



LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 



177 




The tradition of giving red roses, one for each year, 
to the Director of Women Marines on 13 February was 
begun by Col Randolph McC. Pate, post- World War 
II Director of "Reserve. Coljeanette I. Sustad receives 
the bouquet of roses from the Commandant, Gen 
Leonard F, Chapman, Jr., in the early 1970s, 

Women Marines and Mess Night 

For a number of years, it was generally understood 
that formal mess nights were for men only. 30 Women 
officers did not expect to be included and indeed they 
were not. As women were assigned to more and more 
billets outside the WM program, the situation became 
increasingly awkward, and on rare occasions, they were 
invited to take part in the ancient social custom. The 
first woman to attend a mess night was probably 
Colonel Helen A. Wilson * 



*"In August, 1957, while on active duty for training at the Ma- 
rine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, to attend the U,S, Marine Corps 
Reserve Administrative Course, I took part in a formal mess night. 
The announcement was made that I was the first woman in history 
to participate in this ancient and solemn ceremony. For me, it was 
almost a terrifying experience, having been direly warned and in- 
criminated by my fellow Marines as to the solemnity of the occa- 
sion. They coached me and warned me of the deep significance of 
a formal mess night, and the importance of my role on this auspi- 
cious occasion. My memorized speech dissolved into a few halting 
(but sincere) phrases memorializing the important event itself, and 
the Marine Corps, After the meat was declared "fit for human con- 
sumption," the feast began, the wine flowed freely— and glasses were 
raised in countless toasts, each more fervent than the last. Then, 
as I quivered, my turn came — 'Gentlemen — a toast to the Director 
of Women Marines!"— which was by then most enthusiastically 
received. In my "memento box" I still have the cigar they gave me 
that night, carefully wrapped and labeled — and unsmoked!" Col 
Helen A. Wilson comments on draft manuscript, dtd ljan80. 



The date of the first formal mess night sponsored 
by a WM unit is known— 12 February 1970. To 
celebrate the 27th anniversary of the women Marines, 
officers of the Women Marine Recruit Training Bat- 
talion, Parris Island, and the women officers of the 
neighboring Marine Corps Air Station at Beaufort, 
gathered at the officers' club and followed the time- 
honored procedures under the direction of Major 
Roberta N. Roberts (later Patrick), Madam President. 
Madam Vice, the junior officer present, was Chief War- 
rant Officer Bertha Peters Billeb, who had been one 
of the original staff members when the battalion was 
activated in 1943, and later in 1961 became the first 
Sergeant Major of Women Marines. 

The battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jen- 
ny Wrenn, invited the guests of honor, Major Gener- 
al Oscar F. Peatross, Commanding General, Marine 
Corps Recruit Depot, and Colonel Richard J. Schriver, 
Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Air Station. In 
his remarks, General Peatross praised the women for 
their patriotism. He said: 

You have no obligation to serve in the military. You are 
not subject to the draft or to any other impetus to serve ex- 
cept your own patriotism and desire to serve your country 
and fellow man. You must be counted as the most patriotic 
among the citizens of our nation, 31 

Subsequently, the most frequent WM-sponsored 
mess nights occurred at The Basic School, Quantico, 
when the training schedule precluded a joint affair. 
With the complete integration of women into the Bas- 
ic School program in 1977, scheduling problems dis- 
appeared and separate mess nights along with them. 
At all commands where women now serve, they take 
their place at formal mess nights along with their male 
colleagues. 

Molly Marine 

"Molly" is the nickname of a statue which has stood 
at the intersection of Elk Place and Canal Street in 
downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, since it was origi- 
nally dedicated on the Marine Corps Birthday in 
1943 32 Originally cast in marble chips and granite be- 
cause of wartime restrictions, Molly had become 
weather beaten. In 1961, a local committee decided 
to erect a monument to women who had served in 
all branches of the service in all wars, but, they propos- 
ed to erect their monument on Molly's beachhead, and 
remove the statue of the woman Marine. 

Molly's many friends blocked this action. Heading 
the long list of her benefactors was Mr. Frank Zito, 



178 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Jr., former State Commandant, Marine Corps League, 
Louisiana, who pledged that Molly would be bronzed 
and placed on a new pedestal. Thus, Mr. Zito estab- 
lished the Molly Restoration Fund for her refurbishing. 

During the ensuing controversy, it was pointed out 
that New Orleans was the site of the first statue of a 
woman in the United States, that of Margaret Haugh- 
ery, erected in 1884; that the first statue of a woman 
in uniform anywhere in the world was Joan of Arc, 
in her armor, in Orleans, France; that New Orleans 
was the namestake of Orleans, France; and that there- 
fore, it was appropriate that Molly Marine, the first 
statue of a woman in uniform in the United States, 
should remain in New Orleans. 

At the 1964 national convention for the Women Ma- 
rines Association and the Marine Corps League, both 
organizations unanimously passed resolutions pledg- 
ing support to the restoration project. The Marine 
Corps Reserve Officers Association added its aid with 
a Support the Restoration of Molly Marine resolution 
passed by the national delegates in 1966 at Houston, 
Texas. Through the efforts of the New Orleans Cajun 
Chapter of the Women Marines Association, and lo- 



cal friends of the Corps, a full-scale drive was launched 
for the final completion of Molly. 

After many years of working and waiting, Molly 
received her new dress. She was taken from her post 
to be returned dressed in her new bronze finery where 
she awaited her unveiling which took place during the 
Women Marine Association National Convention, 29 
June-1 July 1966. 

On hand for the occasion, as personal representative 
of the Commandant, was Brigadier General Edward 
H. Hurst, Director, Marine Corps Landing Force De- 
velopment Center, Quantico, who as a major in 1943 
had been the commanding officer of the Marine Train- 
ing Detachment, Naval Reserve Midshipmen School 
(WR), Northampton, Massachussetts, and later the 
commanding officer of the Officer Training School, 
MCWR, Camp Lejeune; Colonel Barbara J. Bishop, 
Director of Women Marines; and Gunnery Sergeant 
Helen Hannah Campbell, USMCR, President, Wom- 
en Marines Association. Many of Molly's benefactors 
were at the ceremonies to see the culmination of their 
efforts in the restoration. 

The original inscription, which read: 



LtCol Jenny Wrenn, Commanding Officer, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Partis 
Island, presides at the first Mess Night sponsored by a woman Marine unit, in 1970. 




LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 



179 









<&*"' 



I 



Molly Marine, monument in New Orleans, dedicated to women who served as Marines. 



180 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Dedicated by the People of New Orleans 

TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA 

In the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve 

for recognition of the patriotic service 

rendered their country 

10 November 1943 

was changed to: 

Molly Marine 

November 10, 1943 

FREE A MARINE TO FIGHT 

REDEDICATED JULY 1, 1966 IN HONOR OF 

WOMEN MARINES WHO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY 

IN KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS 

OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS 



Women Marines Association 

The Women Marines Association (WMA) traces its 
origin to a 1923 dream of a couple of World War I 
veterans, Florence Miller and Louise Budge, who tried 
without success to organize the "Girl Marine Vete- 
rans." 33 The idea lay dormant for years until a hand- 
ful of members at large met at the first WMA 
convention in Denver in I960. The founders who laid 
the groundwork for the unofficial organization of 



women Marines were headed by Reserve Major Jean 
Durfee and included former WRs Marion A. Hooper 
Swope, Maryjeane Olson Nelson, June E Hansen, Lois 
Lighthall, Ila Doolittle Clark, and Barbara Kees Meeks. 
Colonel Margaret M. Henderson, the Director of 
Women Marines, attended the convention and gave 
her support and encouragement. 

A constitution was adopted, setting forth WMA ob- 
jectives and providing for biennial conventions, na- 
tional officers and directors were elected; and the 
attendees returned home to mount a vigorous mem- 
bership campaign which netted approximately 350 
charter members by February 1961. Shortly thereafter, 
the first issue of a quarterly newsletter, WMA Nounce- 
ments appeared. Subsequent conventions were held 
in Cleveland, Saint Louis, New Orleans, San Francis- 
co, Philadelphia, Honolulu, Galveston, and in 1976, 
the nation's bicentennial birthday, in Boston. For the 
first time in WMA history, the women were addressed 
by a Commandant of the Marine Corps, General 
Robert E. Cushman, Jr., at the 1974 Texas meeting. 
The WMA is the only national organization open ex- 
clusively to women who serve or have served as Unit- 
ed States Marines. 



CHAPTER 16 

The Sergeants Major of Women Marines 

Bertha L Peters— Evelyn E. Albert— Ouida W. Craddock — Mabel A,R, Otten—June V. Andler— Grace A. Carle 



With the publication of MCO 1421.6 in April I960, 
three WM sergeant major billets were designated, one 
of which was marked for the senior enlisted woman 
in the office of the Director of Women Marines. The 
system at that time provided for the temporary ap- 
pointment to sergeant major of women already in the 
ninth pay grade, master gunnery sergeant. The first 
woman to be promoted to master gunnery sergeant, 
Geraldine M. Moran, was stationed at El Toro where 
no billet for a WM sergeant major existed. The second 
woman to be selected for the top enlisted pay grade 
was Bertha Peters (later Billeb), who at the time was 
in the Director's office. Promoted on 18 January 1961 
to master gunnery sergeant, Peters coincidentally be- 
came eligible and was appointed as the first Sergeant 
Major of Women Marines. 

Officially, no special provisions were made for the 
billet, but much ceremony and publicity attended the 
appointment. Colonel Henderson strongly believed 
that an experienced staff noncommissioned officer, 
through close liaison with enlisted WMs in the field, 
could provide the Director with valuable insights 
which would help in the development of meaningful 
policies concerning women Marines. She enhanced the 
prestige and position of the sergeant major most nota- 
bly by taking her on trips to inspect women Marine 
units. The top enlisted WM visited the women on the 
job and in their barracks. She spoke to work supervi- 
sors and the WM company staff. Back at Headquart- 
ers, she made public appearances and she was the 
expert in residence on enlisted women Marine matters. 

Selection of the succeeding sergeants major was 
done by a special board convened at Headquarters. 
The senior member was a woman officer and the 
Director of Women Marines was an advisor. The 
guidance given board members describing the desira- 
ble qualifications specified: 

1. In personal appearance, an outstanding representative 
woman Marine for her age and grade. Feminine in man- 
nerism and person; impeccable in uniform and knowledge- 
able in presenting an appearance in civilian clothing 
appropriate to any social occasion. 

2. Poised and mature in military presence; socially aware 
and approachable; tactful and capable of achieving a nicely 



balanced relationship with officers, senior staff NCOs, and 
personnel of lower pay grades, men and women. 

3. Possessed of an excellent ability to communicate oral- 
ly and in writing; particularly well qualified to speak be- 
fore a sizable audience. 

4. A Marine Corps career of widest possible experience, 
particularly in regard to billets in the women's program and 
in contrast to assignments limited solely to duty in her MOS. 
Consideration should be given to her performance in her 
OF and to the past selection for such other assignments as 
instructor, recruiter, DI, or as IstSgt/SgtMaj. 1 

Six women were eventually designated through 1976 
as Sergeant Major of Women Marines. They are: 

Sergeant Major Bertha L. Peters (Billeb)-18Janl96l-13Novl963 
Sergeant Major Evelyn E. Albert— l3Novl963-lDecl966 
Sergeant Major Ouida W. Craddock-lDecl966-lAugl969 
Sergeant Major Mabel A. R. Otten-lAugl969-30Aprl972 

Bertha L. Peters, Sergeant Major of Women Marines 
18 January 1961-13 November 1963. 




181 



182 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Evelyn E. Albert, Sergeant Major of Women Marines 
13 November 1963-1 December 1966. 

Sergeant Major June V. Andler-30Aprl972-30Aprl974 
Sergeant Major Grace A. Carle — 30Aprl974-30Octl976 

Sergeant Major Bertha L. Peters 

Sergeant Major Bertha L. Peters (Billeb) of Wasco, 
California, having been recruited by Lieutenant Col- 
onel Lily H. Gridley (who was still in a WAVES uni- 
form) in San Francisco, was enlisted in the Marine 
Corps Reserve on 5 March 1943 and entered training 
on 19 April 1943 in the second recruit class of WRs 
at Hunter College in New York. She served on con- 
tinuous active duty at Headquarters Marine Corps in 
the Division of Aviation throughout World War II. On 
10 November 1948 she was one of the first eight en- 
listed WRs to be sworn into the regular Marine Corps 
by General Clifton B. Cates. 

In February 1949, she was transferred to Parris Is- 
land where she became the Battalion Chief Clerk for 
the newly organized 3d Recruit Training Battalion. 
Upon the discharge of MSgt Elsie Miller, the Battal- 
ion Sergeant Major, GySgt Peters assumed the duties 
of Sergeant Major. Subsequently she was assigned as 
Sergeant Major of the Woman Marines Officer Train- 



ing Command, Quantico; First Sergeant, Company A, 
Pearl Harbor, and in 1955 once again, as Sergeant 
Major, Women Recruit Training Battalion. In 1959 she 
was selected and assigned to the senior enlisted wom- 
an Marine billet, Office of the Director of Woman Ma- 
rines. She was selected for promotion to master 
gunnery sergeant in 1961 and redesignated as sergeant 
major. She became the first Sergeant Major of Wom- 
en Marines. After her marriage in 1962 to Gunnery 
Sergeant William N. Billeb she joined her husband 
at Quantico and was assigned for the second time as 
Sergeant Major, Women Officers Training. In 1966 af- 
ter her husband had been promoted to warrant officer 
(temporary) she accepted promotion to warrant officer 
(temporary) and was transferred to her third tour of 
duty with the Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Par- 
ris Island, where she was assigned to the billet of Bat- 
talion adjutant. In 1970 the Billebs, both 
commissioned officers, reverted to their permanent 
ranks. Master Gunnery Sergeant Bertha Billeb was 
transferred to MCB, Camp Pendleton. She was redesig- 
nated to permanent sergeant major in 1972 when all 
women Marines who held that rank were given per- 
manent warrants. At this time the Billebs were the only 
husband-wife sergeant major team in the Marine 
Corps. In 1973, Sergeant Major Bertha Billeb, being 
the first woman to complete 30 years' continuous ac- 
tive duty, was retired with honors at MCB, Camp Pen- 
dleton. She requested and was placed on the retired 
list as a commissioned warrant officer. 

Sergeant Major Evelyn E. Albert 

Sergeant Major Evelyn E. Albert assumed the as- 
signment as Sergeant Major of Women Marines, Head- 
quarters Marine Corps, on 13 November 1963. She was 
the second woman to hold that billet since its crea- 
tion in April I960. 

A 1943 graduate of Wagner College, Staten Island, 
New York, with a BA degree in English, Sergeant 
Major Albert enlisted from her native New Jersey in 
April 1943, following the call to active duty of the Ma- 
rine Corps Women's Reserve in February. She was in 
the third class of WRs to train at the Naval Training 
School at Hunter College prior to the transfer of the 
WR training to Camp Lejeune. One of the first WRs 
assigned to Camp Lejeune, she served there until July 
1943, when she was transferred to the Marine Corps 
Air Station, Cherry Point. 

While at Cherry Point, she was temporarily 
detached to the Aerological School Training Unit at 
the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey. Upon 



THE SERGEANTS MAJOR OF WOMEN MARINES 



183 



completion of school, she was promoted to corporal 
and returned to Cherry Point as an aerographer. She 
remained there until the general demobilization of 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in December 1945. 
On her return to civilian life, she completed the Ex- 
ecutive Secretary Course at Berkley School in New %rk 
City. 

In July 1948, Staff Sergeant Albert enlisted in the 
Inactive Reserve and, following the 1948 Women's 
Armed Forces Integration Act, enlisted in the U.S. Ma- 
rine Corps and returned to active duty. She was the 
first woman Marine to serve as a receptionist to the 
Secretary of Defense. She served in this capacity until 
December 1951 under Secretaries Louis A. Johnson, 
George C. Marshall, and Robert A. Lovett. 

After serving as a recruiter for a few years she at- 
tended Personnel Administration School at Parris Is- 



land and upon graduation she was assigned to Marine 
Corps Schools, Quantico, as first sergeant of the Wom- 
an Marine Company. 

From December 1958 until December I960, Albert 
served on the staff of Commander in Chief, Allied 
Forces, Southern Europe, Naples, Italy, where she was 
promoted to master sergeant. She then served as Ser- 
geant Major, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Par- 
ris Island, and during this tour was promoted to first 
sergeant in February 1961. In October 1963, she was 
detached from her duties and reported to Headquart- 
ers as Sergeant Major of Women Marines. At the end 
of her tour she was transferred to the Marine Corps 
Air Station Facility, Santa Ana, where she was promot- 
ed to master gunnery sergeant. From January 1968 un- 
til her retirement in December 1969, she served with 
the Awards Unit, Force Adjutant Section, FMFPac. 



Ouida W. Craddock, Sergeant Major of Women Marines, 1 December 1966-1 August 
1969, is congratulated at the appointing ceremony by Gen Wallace M. Greene, Jr. 




184 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Sergeant Major Ouida W. Craddock 

Ouida Wells Craddock was born in Haskell, Okla- 
homa, and grew up in Oakland, California. During 
World War II she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps 
Reserve at San Francisco and served on active duty as 
a private first class in San Francisco and El Toro until 
discharged in April 1946. 

She reenlisted in July 1949 and was integrated into 
the Regular Marine Corps in August 1951. Assigned 
to active duty, she served as electric accounting 
machine operator, and later, noncommissioned officer 
in charge, Civilian Payroll and Fiscal Accounts, 
Machine Records Section, San Francisco, California. 
She was promoted to staff sergeant in June 1952 and 
to technical sergeant in May 1953. 

From August 1953 until July 1954, Sergeant Crad- 
dock served at Headquarters as assistant projects plan- 
ner, and later, as supply accountant. She attended the 
Recruiters School, then was transferred to the 12th Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve and Recruitment District, San Fran- 
cisco, where she served as WM recruiter from 
September 1954 until October 1958. 

She returned to Parris Island and joined the Wom- 
an Recruit Training Battalion, serving as recruit pla- 
toon sergeant. She attended Noncommissioned 
Officer Leadership School at Quantico and then was 
assigned duty as chief drill instructor back at the Wom- 
an Recruit Company, serving in that capacity from Au- 
gust 1959 until September I960. 

For the next three years she saw duty with the Wom- 
an Marine Company at Camp Smith, Hawaii. She 
served first as project planner and later became the 
first woman to be designated as a data processing in- 
stallation chief. While serving in Hawaii, she was 
promoted to master sergeant in January 1962. 

In January 1964, Sergeant Craddock returned to 
Headquarters and was assigned as operation analyst, 
Operation Management Branch, Data Processing Di- 
vision. Transferred in February 1965, she was assigned 
duty once again as recruiter in San Francisco. While 
there, she was selected as the top ranking noncom- 
missioned woman Marine in the Corps, with the rank 
of sergeant major. At the time of her selection she was 
the senior enlisted woman in the data processing field, 
and was the first woman to be promoted to the senior 
pay grade from outside of the administrative field. 

Sergeant Major Craddock served as Sergeant Major 
of Women Marines until she retired on 2 August 1969. 



Sergeant Major Mabel A. R. Often 

Sergeant Major Mabel Annie Rosa Otten became 
the fourth Sergeant Major of Women Marines in 
ceremonies held at Headquarters on 1 August 1969. 
Born in Centerville, Illinois, she graduated from Dupo 
Community High School. She enlisted in the Marine 
Corps Reserve during the national emergency on 16 
May 1944, in St. Louis, Missouri, and received recruit 
training at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. 

During World War II, she served at the Depot of 
Supplies in San Francsico, in Hawaii, at Mare Island, 
and again at the Depot of Supplies, San Francisco. 
While stationed in San Francisco, she was discharged 
as a sergeant following demobilization of the Marine 
Corps Women's Reserve in August 1946. 

In April 1947, she reenlisted in the Marine Corps 
Reserve and in November 1948 integrated into the 
Regular Marine Corps. Following her return to active 
duty, Staff Sergeant Otten served in the disbursing 
field at Headquarters from April 1948 to October 1951 
and at Cherry Point from October 1951 to June 1954, 
where she was promoted to master sergeant on 1 June 
1952. Master Sergeant Otten completed Recruiters 

Mabel A. R. Otten, Sergeant Major of Women Marines 
1 August 1969-30 April 1972 




THE SERGEANTS MAJOR OF WOMEN MARINES 



185 



School in August 1954, then served on recruiting duty 
at South Charleston, West Virginia. 

In October 1957, she became disbursing chief at 
Quantico and in March I960 was assigned duty as S-3 
operations chief at the Woman Recruit Training Bat- 
talion at Parris Island serving there until June 1962. 

For the next seven years, she served as disbursing 
chief consecutively at Camp Lejeune, Treasure Island, 
and at Futema in Okinawa. She was promoted to 
master gunnery sergeant on 1 August 1967 and 
returned to the United States in June 1969. 

Sergeant Major Otten served as Sergeant Major of 
Women Marines until she retired on 30 April 1972. 

Sergeant Major June V. Andler 

Sergeant Major June (Judy) V. Andler became the 
fifth Sergeant Major of Women Marines on 30 April 
1972. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, she graduated from 
St. Paul High School in 1940. She enlisted in the Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve on 9 March 1944 and received 
recruit training at Camp Lejeune. During the war, she 
served at Quantico and at Headquarters Marine Corps. 

In 1948, she integrated into the Regular Marine 
Corps and in February 1949 was transferred to Parris 

June V. Andler, Sergeant Major of Women Marines 
30 April 1972-30 April 1974 





Grace A. Carle, Sergeant Major of Women Marines 
30 April 1974-30 October 1976 

Island as one of the original members of the staff of 
the 3d Recruit Training Battalion. She served there un- 
til September 1952, first as battalion chief clerk, then 
as a drill instructor. While at Parris Island, she com- 
pleted the Personnel and Administrative Course in 
1950. 

Transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pen- 
dleton, California, she saw duty as Chief Clerk, Officer 
Personnel Section and, later, served as an investigator 
in the Base Provost Marshal's Office. During this as- 
signment, in 1953, she attended the Non- 
commissioned Officers Leadership School at Camp 
Lejeune and the Criminal Investigation Course at 
Camp Gordon, Georgia. For the next 28 months, she 
saw duty as administrative chief of the Woman Ma- 
rine Company at Camp H. M. Smith in Hawaii. 

Promoted to gunnery sergeant in December 1959, 
during the same month she was assigned to El Toro 
and subsequently served as administrative chief of 
Woman Marine Detachment One. From April 1962 
until November 1963, Gunnery Sergeant Andler 
served, successively, as First Sergeant, Woman Officers 
Candidate Class, and Administrative Chief of Wom- 
an Marines Detachment at Quantico. 



186 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Following this assignment, she returned to Camp 
Pendleton for duty as noncommissioned officer in 
charge, Officer Personnel Section, Marine Corps Base, 
and later as administrative chief of Headquarters Regi- 
ment. She was promoted to master sergeant in June 
1966, and that September, became S-3, opera- 
tions/special subjects instructor for the Woman Recruit 
Training Battalion at Parris Island. 

Transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at 
San Diego, she served from April 1969 until February 
1970 as First Sergeant, Woman Marine Company. She 
was promoted to first sergeant on 1 May 1969. Upon 
promotion to master gunnery sergeant on 1 February 
1970, she became the Headquarters and Service Bat- 
talion administrative chief. 

In January 1971, Master Gunnery Sergeant Andler 
assumed duty as Personnel Chief, Marine Corps Com- 
munications Electronics School at Twentynine Palms. 
While serving in this capacity, she was named the fifth 
Sergeant Major of Women Marines. 

Completing 30 years of continuous active duty, Ser- 
geant Major Andler retired on 30 April 1974. 

Sergeant Major Grace A, Carle 

Sergeant Major Grace A. Carle became the sixth and 
last Sergeant Major of Women Marines in ceremonies 
held at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., on 30 
April 1974. Born in Yankton, South Dakota, she 
graduated from Pender High School, Pender, Nebras- 
ka, in 1940. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 
1943 and was a member of the last regiment trained 



at Hunter College, New York. During World War II, 
she saw service at Headquarters Marine Corps and in 
Hawaii. She was released from active duty in Novem- 
ber 1945. 

The all-woman Volunteer Training Unit which she 
joined in 1948 became the nucleus of the WR Pla- 
toon, 13th Infantry Battalion and was mobilized in 
1950 at the beginning of the Korean War. Before leav- 
ing for San Francisco, she, along with others in the 
platoon, was ordered to the home armory for two 
weeks active duty during which the women helped the 
men to pack and to get their paperwork in order. Ini- 
tially, she served in San Francisco as a Reservist and 
then integrated into the Regular Marine Corps in 
1951. 2 

Other duty assignments took her to El Toro, Parris 
Island, Camp Pendleton, and to New Orleans, as as- 
sistant to the woman officer selection officer. She 
served as first sergeant of the Woman Marine Com- 
panies at Camp Lejeune and on Okinawa. At the time 
of her selection as Sergeant Major of Women Marines, 
she was Sergeant Major, Woman Officer School, 
Quantico. 

At the end of her tour as Sergeant Major of Wom- 
en Marines, a woman Marine mess night was held at 
the Sheraton Hotel on 29 October 1976, an occasion 
attended by women Marine officers and enlisted, from 
all East Coast posts. The next day, upon retirement, 
she was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and 
honored at parade at the Marine Barracks, 8th and 
I Streets, Washington, D.C. 



An era ends as the last Sergeant Major of Women Marines, Grace A, Carle retires at 
ceremonies held at Marine Barracks, 8th and I, Washington, on 30 October 1976. 




CHAPTER 17 

The Directors of Women Marines 

Katherine A. Towle —Julia E. Hamblet— Margaret M. Henderson ~ Barbara J , Bishop— J eanette I. Sustad 

Margaret A. Brewer— The Position 



Colonel Katherine A. Towle 

Originally of Vermont stock, Colonel Katherine 
Amelia Towle was born in Towle, California, a lum- 
ber mill hamlet in the Sierras founded by her grand- 
father. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1920 at the 
University of California at Berkeley with honors in po- 
litical science and received her master's degree there 
in 1935. Prior to 13 February 1943, she had served suc- 
cessively as an assistant in the admissions office at the 
University of California; resident dean and headmis- 
tress of Miss Ronsom and Miss Bridges School for Girls 
at Piedmont, California; a teaching fellow in political 
science at the University of California; and senior edi- 
tor of the University of California Press. 1 

On 15 March 1943, she accepted an appointment 
as captain in the Marine Corps Reserve with rank as 
of 24 February. Having never attended basic training 
of any sort, Colonel Towle in later years laughingly 
remarked that she was not even a 90 -day wonder. Af- 
ter six days of indoctrination with the Division of 
Reserve at Headquarters Marine Corps, Captain 
Towle was assigned as a staff officer (WR) with the 
Training Brigade, Marine Training Detachment, U.S. 
Naval Training School, Bronx, New York. 

When the WR battalion was established at Camp 
Lejeune in June 1943, she was transferred there and 
became the senior Marine Corps Women's Reserve 
School officer and assistant executive officer. In that 
position, she was promoted to major on 2 February 
1944, and in September of that year she became Col- 
onel Streeter's assistant at Headquarters Marine Corps. 

She remained at Headquarters, was appointed a 
lieutenant colonel on 15 March 1945, and succeeded 
Colonel Streeter as Director nine months later on 8 
December. A colonel by virtue of her billet, she spent 
her remaining months in the Marine Corps directing 
the demobilization of the women Reservists and lay- 
ing plans and policies for a postwar Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve. 

On 14 June 1946, certain that all World War II WRs 
would be released within a few months, Colonel 
Towle returned to the Berkeley campus as assistant 
dean of women. For her meritorious wartime service, 



she carried with her the Letter of Commendation with 
ribbon by the Secretary of Navy and a letter of ap- 
preciation from General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the 
Commandant of the Marine Corps. 

When Congress provided for Regular components 
of women in the Armed Forces, General Clifton B. 
Cates, then Commandant, asked Colonel Towle to 
direct the new Regular women Marines. She returned 
to Washington as one of the first 20 women Regular 
officers and became the first Director of Women 
Marines. 

Recruit and officer training programs were organiz- 
ed and a gradual buildup of women in the Regular 
Marine Corps began. At the same time, 13 women's 
platoons were established in the Marine Corps Or- 
ganized Reserve. Colonel Towle was particularly proud 

Col Katherine A. Towle, Director of Women Marines 
18 October 1948-1 May 1953 




187 



188 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 




Col Katherine A. Towle, Director of Women Marines, reviews a parade in honor of her 
retirement on 1 May 1953- Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, 
Jr. , stands in the rank behind her with (from left to right) LtCol Julia E. Hamblet, Col 
Towle' s successor; LtCol Foster La Hue, aide-de-camp to the Commandant; and Col Jack 
C. Juhan, commanding officer of Marine Barracks, Eighth and I, Washington, D.C. 



of the response of these women and the low percen- 
tage of deferments among women Reservists upon 
mobilization in 1950. Following the Korean War the 
Reserve units were reorganized, this time with a total 
of 19 platoons. 

As an educator, Colonel Towle recognized the value 
of formal training and continually worked for increased 
school opportunities for WMs. Her national stature 
in the academic community enhanced the prestige of 
the women Marines and contributed to her success in 
gaining access to colleges and universities to recruit 
women officers. Among her honors is the Doctor of 
Laws conferred on her by Mills College in June 1952. 



The Oakland Tribune said of her, "Behind the for- 
midably admirable public record is one of the most 
charming women in the world" 2 Colonel Towle, a lady 
of style and grace who loved feminine hats, was a para- 
dox in the overtly masculine Marine Corps. Yet, in the 
opinion of Colonel Hamblet, "She was the perfect one 
for the job at the time." 3 She had made her reputa- 
tion as an able administrator and commander in World 
War II. She was firm but never aggressive and won the 
respect of Marines — irrespective of their personal views 
of women in military service. 

To a newsman's question regarding the acceptance 
of women in the Marine Corps by senior officers, 



THE DIRECTORS OF WOMEN MARINES 



189 



Colonel Towle frankly answered that there were vary- 
ing degrees of enthusiasm but with one or two excep- 
tions the feminine presence had been taken with good 
grace. The day after the interview was published nearly 
every general officer at Headquarters stopped by her 
office, poked in his head, and asked, "%u didn't mean 
me, did you, Colonel?" The Colonel replied, "Oh no, 
sir, of course not," but by the end of the day neither 
she nor her administrative assistant, Lieutenant 
Colonel Kleberger, could keep a straight face as the 
parade by her office continued. 4 

On 1 May 1952, Colonel Towle was retired under 
the statutory age provision of the Women's Armed 
Services Integration Act of 1948 which required retire- 
ment for colonels at age 55. A special sunset parade 
had been held in her honor the evening before at the 
Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., and for the first 
time in the history of the famous barracks, a platoon 
of women Marines joined the contingent of Marines 
who passed in review. Upon retirement, the colonel 
was awarded a Letter of Commendation from the 
Commandant of the Marine Corps and a Legion of 
Merit from the President of the United States * 

Colonel Julia E. Hamblet 

The third Director of the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve and the second Director of Women Marines 
was Colonel Julia Estelle Hamblet, called Judy by her 
friends. Born in Winchester, Massachusetts, Colonel 
Hamblet attended the Hartridge School in Plainfield, 
New Jersey, and graduated from Vassar College in 1937 
with a bachelor of arts degree. 5 The first woman Ma- 
rine to be afforded the opportunity to attend gradu- 
ate school while on active duty, she earned a master 
of science degree in public administration at Ohio 
State University in 1951. Appropriately, her thesis was 
entitled, "The Utilization of Women in the Marine 
Corps." 

Colonel Hamblet worked for the U.S. Information 
Service in Washington, D.C., from 1937 until 1943 
when she became the first woman from the nation's 
capital to join the Marine Corps. Her motive for en- 
tering military service, like thousands of Americans 
during those critical days, was a patriotic desire to do 
her part. Her reason for choosing the Marine Corps 




* Colonel Towle returned to the University of California at Ber- 
keley as the dean of women and associate dean of students. Later 
she filled the very demanding post of dean of students during the 
famous free speech movement and anti-war demonstrations on the 
Berkeley campus. 



Col Julia E. Hamblet, Director of Women Marines 
1 May 1953-2 March 1959 

was less noble; with one brother in the Army and 
another in the Navy, she wanted to remain impartial. 

Graduating from the first woman officer training 
class on 4 May 1943, she, along with several of her 
classmates, was commissioned a first lieutenant. Cap- 
tain Towle, then senior woman officer on the staff at 
the Marine Corps Training Detachment in the Bronx, 
personally selected Lieutenant Hamblet to fill the 
billet of adjutant of that unit. She served in that post 
at Hunter College and later at Camp Lejeune when 
the Women's Reserve schools were transferred there in 
July 1943. Her subsequent tours during World War 
II included six months with the Marine Corps Wom- 
en's Reserve Battalion at Camp Lejeune, first as adju- 
tant and then as executive officer; adjutant and 
executive officer, Women's Reserve Battalion, Camp 
Pendleton; commanding officer, Women's Reserve Bat- 
talion, Quantico; assistant for the Women's Reserve on 
the staff of the commanding general at Quantico; and 
finally commanding officer, Aviation Women's Reserve 
Group 1, Cherry Point. For her services during World 
War II, she was awarded a letter of commendation. 

In a distinguished career marked by numerous 
achievements, one stands out as having the most direct 
impact on the entire Marine Corps. As a major and 



190 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



the Director of the postwar Women's Reserve, 
19464948, she was responsible for maintaining the in- 
terest of the WRs during those critical years and for 
organizing the WR platoons, all of which were ready 
when the Korean War erupted. 

The year of graduate work was followed by a tour 
of duty in Honolulu as the assistant G-l, FMFPac. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Hamblet was the first WM to return 
to Hawaii since the departure of the WRs in 1946. In 
less than a year, she was assigned as officer in charge 
of the Women Officer Training Detachment at 
Quantico. 

On 1 May 1953, she assumed the position of the 
second Director of Women Marines, again succeeding 
Colonel Towle, who was retiring. Only 37 years old, 
she was the youngest director of women in the armed 
services. Colonel Towle, in praising her successor said, 
"She has had practically every type of duty a woman 
Marine officer can have. I have followed her military 
career since her assignment as my adjutant. She has 
brains, ability, personality, and looks." 6 Colonel Ham- 
blet held the post of Director until March 1959, longer 
than any other woman. 

Col Margaret M. Henderson 

Director of Women Marines 

2 March 1959-3 January 1964 




Legal provisions at the time prohibited women, 
other than the Director, to serve in the rank of col- 
onel, so Colonel Hamblet reverted to her permanent 
rank of lieutenant colonel and was then transferred 
to Naples, Italy, where she served as military secretary 
to the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern 
Europe. Before leaving, her friends feted her with a 
"demotion" party which featured a large cake deco- 
rated with an eagle flying away. 

Lieutenant Colonel Hamblet, uncommonly at- 
tractive and poised, became a favorite among the serv- 
icewomen at Naples. When the enlisted women gave 
a New Year's party in 1961 to which many officers, 
American and foreign, were invited, she was the only 
woman officer to accept. "In fact," said Sergeant Major 
Judge, a WM in Naples at the time, "she was the only 
woman officer to give us the time of day. She was so 
gracious; she didn't just come to say hello, she stayed 
and had a good time. No one forgot that. It was men- 
tioned for a long time by the WAVEs and the WACs." 7 

In April 1962, Lieutenant Colonel Hamblet was 
transferred to Parris Island, where she was comman- 
ding officer, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, un- 
til her retirement on 1 May 1965. Colonel Hamblet 
was awarded the Legion of Merit and according to 
regulations, upon retirement she was reappointed to 
the rank of colonel, the highest rank in which she 
served. 

Colonel Margaret M. Henderson 

Colonel Margaret Henderson became the fourth 
Director of Women Marines on 2 March 1959, suc- 
ceeding Colonel Hamblet. Born in Cameron, Texas, 
Colonel Henderson earned a bachelor of business ad- 
ministration degree from the University of Texas in 
1932 and taught in the secondary schools of Lubbock, 
Texas, before her enlistment in the Marine Corps in 
1943. 8 

After completing the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve Officer Training School at Mount Holyoke, 
Massachusetts, she was commissioned a second lieu- 
tenant in the Reserve on 29 June 1943- Lieutenant 
Henderson began her career as a general subjects in- 
structor at the Marine Corps Women's Reserve Schools 
at Camp Lejeune and was later assigned as officer in 
charge of the Business School, Marine Corps Institute, 
Washington, D.C. In later years, Colonel Streeter 
wrote: 

As this was a teaching job, it was natural enough for her 
to be assigned to it; but it soon became evident that her 
capacity was far greater than this job would give her oppor- 



THE DIRECTORS OF WOMEN MARINES 



191 



tunity to develop. Unfortunately, she was doing it so well 
that her Commanding Officer would not let her be trans- 
ferred! Willie and I put our heads together and she finally 
wheedled him into letting Margaret go to a better job, where 
she promptly showed her fine qualities. 9 * 

The "better job" was that of executive officer, Ma- 
rine Corps Women's Reserve Battalion, Camp Lejeune. 
On 14 June 1946, Captain Henderson was released 
from active duty. 

She went home to Lubbock where she taught at 
Texas Technological College for two years. Selected to 
be one of the first 20 Regular woman Marine officers, 
Captain Henderson returned to the Marine Corps in 
December 1948. 

Her academic and professional background made 
her the obvious choice to head the embryonic 3d 
Recruit Training Battalion. Interviews with officers and 
enlisted members of the original staff confirm the wis- 
dom of the assignment. From Parris Island, Major 
Henderson was transferred in 1950 to the Division of 
Plans and Policy at Headquarters Marine Corps where, 
in addition to her regular duties, she was concerned 
with developing personnel and assignment policies for 
the newly integrated WMs. She played an important 
role in the return of women Marines to posts and sta- 
tions during the Korean War. 

During subsequent tours she served consecutively 
as commanding officer, Woman Officer Training 
Detachment; assistant G-l, Marine Corps Base, Camp 
Pendleton; and as head, Women's Affairs Section, Di- 
vision of Plans and Policy at Headquarters Marine 
Corps. 

As Director of Women Marines, Colonel Hender- 
son worked to establish the billet for Sergeant Major 
of Women Marines, since she believed that enlisted 
women would speak more freely to the Sergeant Ma- 
jor than to the Director. Sergeant Major Bertha L. 
Peters (later Billeb), already assigned to the Director's 
office since June 1959* was elevated to the new posi- 
tion of Sergeant Major of Women Marines in January 
1961. 

Completing her tour as Director in January 1964, 
and, once again a lieutenant colonel, she was assign- 
ed as assistant G-l, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San 
Diego. Colonel Henderson, reappointed to the rank 
of colonel, received the Legion of Merit, by the com- 
manding general, Major General Bruno A. Hoch- 




*Willie, referred to by Colonel Sweeter, was Major Cornelia 
D. T. Williams, World War II detail officer. 



Col Barbara J. Bishop, Director of Women Marines 
3 January 1964-31 January 1969 

muth, at a parade marking her retirement on 31 
January 1966. 9 

Colonel Barbara J. Bishop 

Colonel Barbara J. Bishop, the fifth Director of 
Women Marines, was born in Boston, schooled in 
Everett, Massachusetts, and graduated from Yale 
University in January 1943 with a bachelor of fine arts 
degree. 10 

She enlisted in the Marine Corps on 18 February 
1943, just five days after the public announcement of 
the new Women's Reserve program. Colonel Bishop 
received her Marine officer training as a member of 
the second officer candidate class at Mount Holyoke 
and was commissioned a Reserve second lieutenant on 
1 June 1943. 

Throughout World War II Lieutenant Bishop held 
a variety of command and administrative assignments: 
commanding officer, Marine Training Detachment at 
the University of Indiana; executive officer, Marine 
Aviation Detachment at the Naval Air Station in At- 
lanta, Georgia; commanding officer, Aviation Worn- 



192 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



en's Squadron 21 at Quantico; and officer-in-charge, 
S&C Files, Division of Aviation, Headquarters, U.S. 
Marine Corps. She was released to inactive duty on 
10 November 1946 with the rank of captain. 

During the next two years, Captain Bishop earned 
a master of arts degree at the University of Chicago 
and was working toward a doctorate when, following 
the passage of the Women's Armed Services In- 
tegration Act, she returned to active duty, selected as 
one of the original 20 Regular women officers. She 
served at Headquarters as officer-in-charge, S&C Files, 
until January 1952 when she went to Headquarters, 
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, in Hawaii. 

In September 1953 she assumed command of the 
Woman Marine Company at Camp Lejeune, and was 
reassigned to Headquarters in 1955 as head, Wom- 
en's Branch, Division of Reserve, with the additional 
duty as Deputy Director of Women Marines. A lieu- 
tenant colonel, she returned to the field in October 
1956 for consecutive tours as commanding officer, 
Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island; and 
assistant G-l, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. In 
March 1962 she went to Europe, reporting for duty 
in Naples, Italy, as military secretary to the Com- 
mander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe. 

From Italy, she was once again assigned to Head- 
quarters, this time to succeed Colonel Henderson as 
the leading woman Marine on 3 January 1964. Col- 
onel Bishop served as Director during a time of sweep- 
ing changes in programs and policies affecting women 
Marines. When she was named Director there were 
about 1,500 WMs serving at 10 Marine Corps posts 
and stations throughout the United States and in a 
few overseas billets. Four years later, there were 2,600 
active duty WMs serving 25 posts and stations as well 
as in Europe, the Philippines, Okinawa, Japan, and 
the Republic of Vietnam. 

Colonel Bishop worked toward improving the liv- 
ing accommodations of women Marines, increasing 
their assignment opportunities, and raising the rate 
of their retention. During her tour, women officers 
for the first time were assigned to career military 
schools. 

When Public Law 90-130 was signed by President 
Johnson on 8 November 1967, removing certain res- 
trictions to the promotion to field grade of women 
officers, Colonel Bishop was among the first group of 
WMs to be selected for promotion to the permanent 
rank of colonel. Therefore, she, unlike Colonels Ham- 



blet and Henderson, retained her rank when she even- 
tually left the position of Director of Women Marines 
on 31 January 1969. 

Colonel Bishop, whose last assignment was con- 
gressional liaison officer to the Senate, retired in 
November 1969 and was awarded the Legion of Merit 
during ceremonies held in the office of the Comman- 
dant of the Marine Corps, General Leonard F. Chap- 
man, Jr. Colonel Sustad, her successor, presented 
Colonel Bishop a citation lauding her for her service 
to the women in the Marine Corps. The unofficial 
award was signed by all active duty WM officers and 
was given in recognition of personal efforts on their 
behalf. 

Colonel Jeanette I. Sustad 

Colonel Jeanette I. Sustad, sixth Director of Wom- 
en Marines, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 
raised in Tacoma, Washington. She earned a bachelor 
of arts degree in sociology at the University of 
Washington in Seattle in 1943. 11 On 8 May of that 
year she enlisted in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, 
received officer training at Camp Lejeune, and was 
commissioned a Reserve second lieutenant on 27 De- 
cember. 

Her first assignment was special services liaison 
officer, at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point. 
Subsequently she served as field operations officer at 
the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Facility, Oak Grove, 
North Carolina, and assistant communications watch 
officer at the Marine Corps Air Station in Ewa, 
Honolulu. She returned to inactive status on 17 De- 
cember 1945. 

Following demobilization, she spent a year in gradu- 
ate study at the University of Minnesota and later was 
employed as a veterans counselor by the U.S. Employ- 
ment Services in Tacoma. Upon passage of the Wom- 
en's Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, she 
accepted a Regular commission as a first lieutenant 
and reported to Headquarters in December. 

Transferred to Parris Island the following month, she 
was assigned as executive officer of the newly formed 
3d Recruit Training Battalion. From May to July 1950, 
she served temporarily as the executive officer of the 
Woman Officer Training Detachment at Quantico. 
The Korean War brought changes to the WM assign- 
ment policies, and she was one of the first to head 
west to assume duties at Camp Pendleton. Captain 
Sustad became the adjutant of the Marine Corps Base, 
perhaps the first postwar WM to be so assigned; and 
upon activation of the first post-World War II WM 



THE DIRECTORS OF WOMEN MARINES 



193 




Col Jeanette I. Sustad, Director of Women Marines 
31 January 1969-31 January 1973 

Company at Camp Pendleton, became its command- 
ing officer, serving in that capacity until August 1952. 
The first woman Marine officer to be assigned du- 
ty in Europe, she served in the Staff Message Control 
Branch, Headquarters, United States European Com- 
mand, Frankfurt, Germany. After her promotion to 
major in July 1953, she became assistant head of the 
branch and in the spring of 1954, when the Head- 
quarters was moved to Paris, France, Major Sustad con- 
tinued her assignment there. 

Upon her return to the United States in Septem- 
ber 1954, she served consecutive tours as the execu- 
tive officer, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Parris 
Island; officer-in- charge, Procurement Aids Branch, 
Headquarters, 9th Marine Corps Reserve District, 
Chicago; assistant to the executive officer and plans 
officer, G-l Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine 
Corps; and as operations officer, Marine Corps Edu- 
cation Center, Quantico. 

Lieutenant Colonel Sustad became the first fulltime 
Deputy Director of Women Marines in July 1965. Back 
at Camp Pendleton serving as the assistant G-l, in June 
1968, she was one of the first Regular women Marines 



to be promoted to the rank of colonel after promo- 
tion restrictions were lifted by Congressional legis- 
lation. 

Colonel Sustad was named Director of Women Ma- 
rines in 1968, the same year she celebrated her 25th 
anniversary as a WM, and she assumed the top post 
on 1 February 1969- Wider assignment and training 
opportunities materialized under the guidance of 
Colonel Sustad, and she worked to either change or 
to set aside many outmoded regulations regarding 
grooming, marriage, pregnancy, and dependency. 

Colonel Sustad retired on 31 January 1973. In the 
citation accompanying her Legion of Merit was writ- 
ten, "She worked tirelessly for the welfare of each in- 
dividual under her purview . . ."a sentiment endorsed 
by many of the WMs who knew her. 12 

Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer 

Then-Colonel Margaret A. Brewer, seventh and last 
Director of Women Marines, was the only post-World 
War II woman to hold that position. She succeeded 
Colonel Sustad on 1 February 1973. Born in Durand, 
Michigan, she received her primary education in 
Michigan but graduated from the Catholic High 
School of Baltimore, Maryland, prior to entering the 
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She received a 
bachelor's degree in geography in January 1952 and 
was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant in 
March of that year. 13 

Candidate Brewer attended the Woman Officer 
Training Class as an undergraduate during the sum- 
mers of 1950 and 1951 at the time of the Korean War. 
Although the policy was to offer Regular commissions 
to only a few women graduates of Officer Candidates 
School, and to release the remaining to inactive duty 
as Reserve officers, rumors were rampant during the 
summer of 1951 that all would be retained 
involuntarily— and undergraduates as candidate Brew- 
er would be ordered to active duty in enlisted status. 
The scutdebutt proved foundless and candidate Brewer 
returned to college to complete her last semester, ex- 
pecting to graduate in January and attend the Wom- 
an Officer Indoctrination Course the following fall. 
She notified Headquarters of her graduation, and 
promptly received an unexpected set of orders to the 
Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, where she served 
as a communications watch officer until June 1953. 
The personnel shortage was so acute that Lieutenant 
Brewer was assigned with no more than 12 weeks of 
officer candidate training. She attended neither the 
Woman Officer Indoctrination Course nor the Com- 



194 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



munications Officers School. Plans were made to send 
her to the WOIC in September, but when the time 
came she had already successfully served as an officer 
for six months and the command at El Toro declined 
to release her. 14 

She was then transferred to Brooklyn to activate the 
post-Korea WM Communications Platoon to be at- 
tached to the 2d Signal Company, USMCR. Lieutenant 
Brewer served as the assistant inspector-instructor un- 
til late summer 1955. From September 1955 until June 
1958, in the rank of captain, she served as command- 
ing officer of the Woman Marine companies at Nor- 
folk, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune. During the 18 
months following, she was a platoon commander for 
women officer candidates at Quantico, during sum- 
mer training sessions, and a woman officer selection 
officer during winter and spring, with headquarters 
in Lexington, Kentucky. Transferred to Camp Pendle- 
ton in November 1959 for duty with the Commis- 
sioned Officers Mess, she was promoted to major in 
September 1961. In April 1963 she returned to Quan- 
tico to serve as executive officer and later, as command- 
ing officer, of the Woman Officer School. From 1966 
to February 1968, Major Brewer was assigned to the 
Public Affairs Office, 6th Marine Corps District, in 
Adanta, Georgia, and she was promoted to lieutenant 
colonel in December 1966. 

Lieutenant Colonel Brewer served as Deputy Direc- 
tor of Women Marines at Headquarters Marine Corps 
from March 1968 to March 1971. Reporting to Quan- 
tico, she assumed duty as special assistant to the Direc- 
tor, Marine Corps Education Center. Promoted to 
colonel in December 1970, she became chief of the 
Support Department, Marine Corps Education Center, 
in June 1972, and served in that capacity until she be- 
came the Director of Women Marines in February 
1973. 

During her last weeks as Director, Colonel Brewer 
spoke enthusiastically, not only of the increased op- 
portunities for women in the Marine Corps, but of the 
notable change in attitude on the part of male Ma- 
rines in positions of influence at Headquarters. For 
several years she had devoted her energies to effecting 
a smooth transfer of responsibility for women in the 
Marine Corps to the agencies at Headquarters where 
it rightly belonged. She confidently turned the reins 
over, certain that these agencies had come to recog- 
nize women Marines as Marines. 15 Colonel Brewer was 
reassigned as the deputy director, Division of Infor- 
mation, Headquarters, Marine Corps on 1 July 1977. 



General Brewer became the Marine Corps' first 
woman general officer when, on 11 May 1978, she was 
assigned as the Director of Information, Headquart- 
ers Marine Corps, and appointed a brigadier general. 

At the time there was no legal provision for the rou- 
tine selection and promotion of a woman to flag rank 
in either the Navy or the Marine Corps. Women could, 
however, be designated by the Secretary of the Navy 
for the billet of a rear admiral or brigadier general. 
A woman officer so designated could be appointed 
to that rank while so serving. A Navy woman of the 
time had previously been so appointed. A special 
board was convened at Headquarters to select the 
Director of Information. Four women colonels were 
considered. 

The Position 

As women became more accepted in the Marine 
Corps; as policies, law, and traditions were changed; 
as discriminatory restrictions fell; the position of the 
Director of Women Marines evolved from one of nearly 
complete control to one of an advisory nature. 
Although technically they were always considered ad- 
visors, the early Directors, with the exception of 

Col Margart A. Brewer, Director of Women Marines 
31 January 1973-30 June 1977 




THE DIRECTORS OF WOMEN MARINES 



195 



Colonel Streeter, were members of the Commandant's 
staff and were directly involved in recruiting, train- 
ing, uniforming, and assigning women Marines. The 
careers of senior officers and enlisted women were 
managed by the Director and all were personally 
known to her. 

The Director's stated mission belied her real in- 
fluence. According to the Marine Corps Manual, "The 
Director of Women Marines advises the Commandant 
and staff agencies on all matters of policy and proce- 
dure concerning women in the Marine Corps and Ma- 
rine Corps Reserve." The functions of the officer were 
listed as: 

(1) Initiates policies and makes recommendations on all 
policies and procedures affecting women initiated by other 
divisions and departments. 

(2) Advises and makes recommendations on duty assign- 
ments of Women Marines. 

(3) Advises cognizant staff agencies in the execution of 
approved policies affecting Women Marines. 

(4) Visits and assists in the inspection of activities where 
Women Marines are stationed. 

(5) Maintains liaison with directors of women in the other 
Armed Services and with the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense in connection with the Defense Advisory Committee 
on Women in the Armed Services. 16 

As a result of a reorganization of Headquarters Ma- 
rine Corps in October 1973, the Director was placed 
under the cognizance of the Manpower Department, 
which encompassed the major areas of concern to her. 
Colonel Brewer spent increasingly more time trans- 
ferring the functions of her office to the appropriate 



Headquarters departments. The 26th Commandant, 
General Louis H. Wilson, Jr., had directed that wom- 
en Marines were to be treated more truly as Marines; 
recruited, trained, and assigned as members of a 
single and united Corps. 17 

The news that there would no longer be a Director 
of Women Marines was made public on 16 June 1977 
and on that day Colonel Brewer reaffirmed her confi- 
dence in the planned disestablishment of the posi- 
tion. 18 The office created in 1943 and reinforced in 
1948 was to be disbanded at a time when the Corps 
proposed to almost triple the women's strength of 
3,700. Only the Army would be left with a director 
of women. 

Ceremonies marking the dissolution of the Direc- 
tor's position were held on 30 June 1977 in the Com- 
mandant's office. Among the guests was retired 
Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, the woman who had held 
the position of Director of Women Marines longer 
than any other, and who additionally had served as 
Director of the Women's Reserve immediately after 
World War II. General Wilson traced the history and 
accomplishments of women Marines since World War 
II, and he recalled the often-told story that when 
General Thomas A. Holcomb authorized the accep- 
tance of women into the Marine Corps, former Com- 
mandant Archibald Henderson's portrait fell from the 
wall. The 1977 Commandant gallantly added that if 
sometime in the future, the announcement should be 
made that there would no longer be women Marines, 
he hoped that his portrait too, would fall to the floor. 



Notes 



INTRODUCTION 

The primary source for material in this book is the Women Ma- 
rines files, 1918-1973, 7 boxes, Headquarters US, Marine Corps 
Records (RG 127-76-36, Federal Records Center, Suitland, Maryland), 
hereafter WMs HQMC Records; Office of the Director of Women 
Marines files (Collections Section, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter 
Dir WMs files; Women Marines Research File, (Hist&Mus Div, 
HQMC), hereafter WM Research file. 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this section is derived 
from: Postwar MCWR I file, box 3, WMs HQMC Records, here- 
after Postwar MCWR I file; Col Julia E. Hamblet interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, hereafter Hamblet Interview. 

1. Gen Gerald C Thomas memo to CMC, dtd 30Oct45 (Post- 
war MCWR I file). 

2. Ibid. 

3. Maj Julia E. Hamblet memo to CMC, dtd 4Feb48 (File 1527, 
Women Reserve & Regular, box 7, WMs HQMC Records). 

4. Col Ruth C. Streeter interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 3lMay77 
(WM Research file). 

5. Col Ruth C. Streeter memo to Director of Personnel, Marine 
Corps, dtd 29Aug45 (Postwar MCWR I file) 

6. Col Edward W. Snedeker memo to Director, Division of Plans 
and Policies, dtd 10Dec45 (Postwar MCWR I file) 

CHAPTER 1 
A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, 1946-1948 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: File 2385-50-30, Organizations, Central Files, HQMC, here- 
after Organizations file; Postwar MCWR I file; Hamblet interview; 
Muster rolls, Company E, 1st HqBn, HQMC, l9Apr46-31Jan47 (Ref- 
Sec, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC); Scrapbook loaned by Col Julia E. Ham- 
blet to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, hereafter Hamblet scrapbook; LtCol 
Mary J. Hale interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd l4Dec77 (Oral Hist 
Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Hale interview; Per- 
sonal papers loaned by LtCol Emma H. Clowers to Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, hereafter Clowers papers; Scrapbook and papers loaned by 
Dorothy M. Munroe to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, hereafter Munroe 
scrapbook; The Reserve Bulletin, Division of Reserve, HQMC, here- 
after The Reserve Bulletin; WM Research File, 

1. ChiefNavPer ltr to CMC, dtd 27Feb46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

2. CMC ltr to ChiefNavPer, dtd 12Mar46 (Organizations file). 

3. Gen Gerald C. Thomas memo to CMC, dtd 19Nov45 (Post- 
war MCWR I file). 

4. Col Joseph W. Knighton memo to CMC, dtd 13Mar46 (Or- 
ganizations file). 

5. Gen Gerald C. Thomas memo to CMC, dtd 15Mar46 (Or- 
ganizations file). 

6. CMC ltr to Col Randolph McC Pate, dtd 28Mar46 (Postwar 
MCWR I file). 



7. Board to recommend policy for administration of postwar 
MCWR, HQMC, dtd 17Apr46 (Postwar MCWR I file), 

8. Col Joseph W, Knighton memo to Gen Allan H, Turnage, dtd 
15May46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

9. Cited from Joy Hancock, Lady in the Navy (Annapolis: Naval 
Institute Press, 1972), p. 223, hereafter Hancock, Lady in the Navy. 

10. Stevenson, Burton Egbert, The Home Book of Quotations: 
Classical and Modern (New York; David, Mead & Co,, 1958), p. 
2298, 

11. Col Katherine A, Towle memo to Director of Personnel, dtd 
6May46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

12. Col Katherine A. Towle memo to Director of Personnel, dtd 
I4jun46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

13. Headquarters Memorandum No. 50-1946, dtd 7Aug46, Subj; 
Retention of WRs on active duty (Postwar MCWR I file). 

14. Admin Div, CMC office memo to multiple addresses, Subj: 
Retention of WRs on active duty until 30jun47 (Postwar MCWR 
I file). 

15. Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift ltr to Maj Julia E. Hamblet, 
dtd l4Jun46 (Hamblet scrapbook). 

16. Maj Julia E. Hamblet ltr to Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift, 
dtd 25jun46 (Hamblet scrapbook), 

17. CMC ltr to Maj Julia E. Hamblet, dtd 3Jul46 (Hamblet 
scrapbook). 

18. Maj Julia E. Hamblet memo to Director, Division of Reserve, 
dtd 80ct46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

19. Headquarters Memorandum No. 80-1946, dtd l60ct46, Subj: 
MCWR, policies for administration of (Postwar MCWR I file). 

20. Maj Julia E. Hamblet memo to Director, Division of Reserve, 
dtd 80ct46 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

21. The Reserve Bulletin, Mar47. 

22. Hale interview. 

23. Maj Julia E. Hamblet ltr to Capt Emma H. Hendrickson, dtd 
l6Dec46 (Clowers papers). 

24. Maj Julia E. Hamblet ltr to former WRs, dtd 9jan47 (Mun- 
roe scrapbook). 

25. Letter of Instruction 1397, dtd 9jan47. 

26. "Be a Marine And a Civilian Too," undtd Marine Corps Reserve 
pamphlet (Munroe scrapbook). 

27. Capt Constance Risegari-Gai ltr to former WRs, undtd (Mun- 
roe scrapbook). 

28. VTU 1-1 (WR), Notices for the week of 12Nov47, undtd (Mun- 
roe scrapbook). 

29. VTU 3-1 admin records 1947-57, loaned by Bertha Santos 
to Hist&MusDiv, hereafter Santos papers. 

30. The Reserve Bulletin, Nov47 and Dec54. 

31. Santos papers. 

32. PAU 4-1, The Marine Corps Reserve-A History (Washing- 
ton: Division of Reserve, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1966), 
p. 130. 

33. LtCol Ben A. Munn ltr to Hist&MusDiv, dtd 26Jan77 (WM 
Research file). 

197 



198 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



34. CMC report to SecNav, Subj: MarCor Per Plan for Fiscal Yr49, 
dtd 18jul47 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

35. The Reserve Marine, Apr47. 

36. Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., memo to Gen Gerald C. Tho- 
mas, dtd 17Apr47 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

37. Ibid. 

38. Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., memo to CMC, dtd 23Apr47, 
with CMC endorsement (Postwar MCWR I file). 

39. Maj Julia E. Hamblet memo to Director, Division of Reserve, 
dtd 29Apr47 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

40. Director of Aviation memo to CMC, dtd 27May47 (Postwar 
MCWR I file). 

41. Gen William T. Clement memo to CMC, dtd 29May47 (Post- 
war MCWR I file). 

42. AdminDiv, Office of CMC memo to multiple addresses, dtd 
9jun47 (Postwar MCWR I file). 

43. Gen Gerald C. Thomas memo to CMC, dtd lljun47, with 
CMC endorsement (Postwar MCWR I file). 

44. WMs HQMC Records. 

45. CMC ltr to former WRs, dtd 270ct47 (Munroe scrapbook). 

46. Our World; A National Magazine for the People ofTupper- 
ware, Jan77, p. 5 (WM Research file). 

CHAPTER 2 

WOMEN'S ARMED FORCES LEGISTAHON: 

PUBLIC LAW 625 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: Hearings -WR Bill file (Dir WMs file), hereafter WM Bill 
file; Postwar MCWR I file; File 1527 Women Reserve & Regular file 
(Dir WMs file), hereafter Res&Reg file; and PL 625, 80th Congress. 

1. Hancock, Lady in the Navy, p. 223. 

2. Col Katherine A. Towle statement before the House Naval Af- 
fairs Committee on H.R. 5915, undtd (WR Bill file). 

3. House of Representatives Naval Affairs Committee, US. Con- 
gress, To Amend the Naval Reserve Act of 1938, As Amended, So 
as to Establish the Women s Reserves on a Permanent Basis, and 
for Other Purposes, House Report 226, 79th Congress, 2nd Ses- 
sion (Washington, 1946), p. 3335. 

4. Ibid, p. 3334. 

5. Maj Julia E. Hamblet memo to Director, Division of Reserve, 
dtd 29Apr47 (Res&Reg file). 

6. Senate Committee on Armed Services, U. S. Congress, A Bill 
to Establish the Women's Army Corps in the Regular Army, To 
Authorize the Enlistment and Appointment of Women in the Regu- 
lar Navy and Marine Corps and the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve 
and for Other Purposes, Hearings on S. 1103, S. 1527, and S. 1641, 
80th Congress, 1st Session (Washington, 1947), p. 10. 

7. Ibid., p. 13. 

8. Ibid., p. 68. 

9. Col Joseph W. Knighton memo to Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, 
Jr., dtd 8jul47 (Res&Reg file). 

10. Director, Division of Plans and Policies memo to CMC, Subj: 
Reg WMs, proposed program for (Women's Reg Service & Discharge 
file, Dir WMs file). 

11. Capt Ira H. Nunn, USN, ltr to CMC, dtd 13 Feb48 (WR file). 

12. Woman Veteran, Apr48 (Women Veterans file, Dir WMs file). 

13. Cited from Hancock, Lady in the Navy, p. 231. 

14. Mrs. Ruth Streeter ltr to CMC, dtd 4Aug47 (Res&Reg file). 



CHAPTER 3 
GOING REGULAR 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: WMs HQMC Records; The Reserve Bulletin, 19484949; WM 
Research File; Old Studies Matters Women Marines, box 3, WMs 
HQMC Records, hereafter Old Studies; Clowers papers; Personal 
Papers, copies, donated by LtCol Doris V. Kleberger to Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, hereafter Kleberger papers; Hamblet interview; Col Mar- 
garet M. Henderson interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd Oct76 (Oral 
Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Henderson in- 
terview; LtCol Elsie E. Hill interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
30Apr77 (WM Research file), hereafter Hill interview; Hale inter- 
view; LtCol Elaine T. Carville interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
lMay77 (WM Research file), hereafter Carville interview; Pauline 
Riley Wilson interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd lApr77 (Oral Hist 
Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Wilson interview; 
SgtMaj Ruth Ryan interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 24Mar77 (WM 
Research file), hereafter Ryan interview; IstSgt Bertha J. Schultz in- 
terview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 10Feb77 (Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Schultz interview; SSgt Jack W. 
Draughon interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 24Mar77 (WM Research 
file), hereafter Draughon interview; IstSgt Esther D. Waclawski inter- 
view with Hist&MusDiv dtd Nov76 (WM Research file), hereafter 
Waclawski interview. 

1. Col Katherine A. Towle, Women in the Marine Corps draft 
(File, Mission of Women Marines, box 3, WMs HQMC Records). 

2. Hamblet interview. 

3. Katherine A. Towle, Administration and Leadership (Berkeley: 
The University of California, 1970), pp. 122, 138-139. 

4. Ibid., p. 139. 

5. DP&P Study No. 12785, dtd 4Dec47 (Organizations file). 

6. DirWM Study No. 1-48, dtd 29Nov48 (Old Studies). 

7. CMC ltr to all enlisted women and former enlisted women, 
MCWR, dtd 15jul48 (Munroe scrapbook). 

8. CMC ltr to all officers and former officers, MCWR, dtd 12jul48 
(File, Requirement for WM, box 7, WMs HQMC Records). 

9. DP&P Study No. 179-48, dtd 2Nov48 (File Women Reserve 
& Regular, box 7, WMs HQMC Records). 

10. DP&P Study No. 152-48 (File, Requirement for WM, Box 7, 
WMs HQMC Records). 

11. DirWM Study No. 1-48, dtd 29Nov48 (Old Studies). 

12. Reserve Bulletin, Nov48. 

13. Ruth Cheney Streeter, History of the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve (Washington, 6Dec45), pp. 31-32. 

14. Ibid., p. 52. 

15. DP&P Study No. 171-48, dtd 20Oct48 (File, History of the 
Office of the Dir WMs, box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

16. Reserve Bulletin, Dec 48. 

17. Waclawski interview. 

18. WM Research file. 

19. Henderson and Hill interviews. 

20. Clowers papers. 

21. Col Katherine A. Towle memo to LtCol Jackson, dtd 22Nov48 
(File, Reindoctrination Training-WMs, USMCR to USMC, box 7, 
WMs HQMC Records). 

22. Schultz interview. 

23. Wilson interview. 

24. Hamblet interview. 

25. Ibid. 



NOTES 



199 



26. Clowers papers. 

27. Col Katherine A. Towle Itr to MajGen Leroy P. Hunt, dtd 
23Dec48 (File Al/8, Reserve, Division of, box 8, WMs HQMC 
Records). 

28. Marine Corps Memorandum No. 7-48, dtd l6Nov48 (File 
1300, Assignment & Distribution 1944-1956, box 3, WMs HQMC 
Records). 

29. DirWM Study No 1A-1949, undtd (Old Studies). 

30. Ibid., appd, 17Mar50. 

31. Col Katherine A. Towle comments on proposed General Order, 
dtd 26Sep49 (File 1412, Promotions, box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

32. DirWM Study No 1-48, dtd 29Nov48 (Old Studies). 

33. Henderson interview. 

34. Hale interview. 

35. Muster Roll, 3d Recruit Training Bn, Parris Island, S.C., ftb49. 

36. Henderson interview. 

37. Hq, MCRD, PISC, Post General Order, Subj: 3rdRTB, Or- 
ganization of, draft (File P. 11/2, Recruit Training, box 5, WMs 
HQMC Records). 

38. Henderson, Hale, Ryan, and Schultz interviews. 

39. Ryan interview. 

40. Draughon interview. 

41. Ibid. 

42. Reserve Bulletin, Feb49. 

43. Parris Island Boot, 26Feb49. 

44. Ibid., l6Apr49. 

45. Henderson interview. 

46. Schultz interview. 

47. Hale interview. 

48. SSgt Ann Estelle Lamb's Case File (Manpower Department, 
HQMC). 

49. Henderson interview. 

50. Schultz interview. 

51. Henderson interview. 

52. Henry I. Shaw, Jr., and Ralph W. Donnelly, Blacks in the 
Marine Corps (Washington: History and Museums Division, HQMC, 
1975), p. 57. 

53. Reserve Bulletin, Apr49. 

54. Carville interview. 

55. Col Katherine A. Towle Itr to Doris V. Kleberger, dtd 30Mar49 
(Kleberger papers). 

56. Muster Rolls, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, 
Quantico, Virginia, Jul49. 

57. Hill interview. 

58. Ibid. 

59- Quantico Sentry, 30jun49. 

60. Hill interview. 

61. Reserve Bulletin, Oct49. 

62. Kleberger papers. 

63. Col Katherine A. Towle comments (Kleberger papers). 

64. Kleberger papers. 

65. Reserve Bulletin, Oct49. 

66. Kleberger papers. 

67. Hill interview. 

68. Ibid. 

CHAPTER 4 
THE KOREAN WAR YEARS 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: Women's Organized Reserve Units, box 3, WM's HQMC 



Records, hereafter WR Units file; File Al/8 Reserve, Division of, 
box 7, WM's HQMC Records, hereafter DivRes file; File P 11/3-1, 
Organized Reserve, box 7, WM's HQMC Records, hereafter Or- 
ganized Reserve file; Colonel Valeria F Hilgart interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, dtd 23Mar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC), hereafter Hilgart interview; Lieutenant Colonel Nita Bob 
Warner interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd Mar77 (Oral Hist Col- 
lection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Judge interview; GySgt 
Frances Curwen Bilski interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 23Mar77 
(WM Research file), hereafter Bilski interview; Theresa "Sue" Sou- 
sa interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 3lMar77 (Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Sousa interview; Personal papers 
loaned by Lieutenant Colonel Pauline B. Beckley to Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, hereafter Beckley papers; Clowers papers; Scrapbook do- 
nated by MSgt Julia Bennke Stacy to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, here- 
after Stacy scrapbook; Munroe scrapbook. 

1. Hamblet interview. 

2. WR Units file. 

3. Reserve Bulletin, Mar49. 

4. Ibid., undtd. 

5. DivRes file. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Reserve Bulletin, Apr49. 

9. Wilson interview. 

10. Munroe scrapbook. 

11. Judge and Bilski interviews. 

12. Judge interview. 

13. Munroe scrapbook. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Organized Reserve file. 

16. MGySgt Rocita A. Martinez Itr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
18Apr77 (WM Research file). 

17. Frances M. Exum interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 13Apr77 
(WM Research file). 

18. Organized Reserve file. 
19- Stacy scrapbook. 

20. Sousa interview. 

21. Warner interview. 

22. Kleberger papers. 

23. Hale interview. 

24. WR Units file. 

25. Director of WMs scrapbook (WM Research file). 

26. Carville interview. 

27. WR Units file. 

28. Beckley papers. 

29. WR Units file. 

30. The Reserve Marine (Division of Reserve, HQMC), hereafter 
Reserve Marine, Jan 51. 

31. SgtMaj Ethyl Wilcox interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 21jan77 
(Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

32. Mary Sue Mock Milton interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
26Mar77 (WM Reserve file). 

33- Maj Mary E. Roddy interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 17Mar77 
(WM Research file). 
34. WR Units file. 
35- Reserve Marine, Nov51. 

36. Beckley papers. 

37. Stella Uhorczuk Itr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 7Mar77 
(WM Research file). 



200 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



38. Judge interview. 
39- Waclawski interview. 

40. WR Units file. 

41. Judge interview. 

42. Bilski interview. 

43. Old Studies. 

44. Pendleton Scout, 11 Aug 50. 

45. Waclawski interview. 

46. San Diego Chevron, 8Dec50. 

47. Clowe rs papers. 

48. Warner interview. 

49. El Tow Flight Jacket, 20Oct50. 

50. Quantico Sentry, 10Nov50. 

51. Carville interview. 

52. Katherine Keefe interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
3Aug77. 

53. Cherry Point Windsock, 30Nov51. 

54. Kleberger papers. 

55. Anna Orlanda Hopkins Itr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
25Feb77 (WM Research file). 

56. Hilgart interview, and Lieutenant Colonel Virginia Caley in- 
terview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 17Feb77 (Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

57. Hilgart interview. 

58. Kleberger interview. 

59- San Diego Chevron, undtd. 

60. The Windward Marine, (Kaneohe, MCAS), l6Mar56. 

61. File P 11/2, Recruit Training, box 5, WMs HQMC Records, . 

62. Hale interview. 

63. Ardella Wheeler Butts interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd 23Mar77 (WM Research file). 

64. Schultz interview. 

65. Reserve 46, box 7, WMs HQMC Records. 

66. Colonel Margaret A. Brewer interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
dtd 30Dec77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 



CHAPTER 5 
UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS, 1951-1963 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: "Maximum Utilization of Women in the Marine Corps" report 
by Procedures Analysis Office, Nov51, File, Approved Policies on 
Utilization, Assignment of WMs since 1943, box 1, WMs HQMC 
Records, hereafter Procedures Analysis Report Nov51; File 1300, As- 
signment & Distribution (1944-1956), box 3 WMs HQMC Records, 
hereafter Assignment file 44-56; File, Utilization of Women Ma- 
rines, DirWMs files, hereafter Util WMs file; File Utilization of 
Women, box 7, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter Util of Women 
file; DirWM reports on Women on Active Duty By MOS compiled 
by author on chart, Utilization Section, box 1, WM Research File, 
hereafter MOS Chart; "Enlisted Jobs In the Marine Corps Which 
Can Be Performed By Women In the Event of Mobilization," a the- 
sis by Major Julia E. Hamblet, Ohio State University, 1951 (File 1951, 
box 1, WM Research file), hereafter Hamblet thesis. 

1. Procedures Analysis Report Nov 51. 

2. Newsclippings, unidentified, DirWMs scrapbook on Parris Is- 
land, box 4, WMs HQMC Records. 

3. Administrative Officer memorandum to Director, Division of 



Plans and Policies, dtd 12Dec50 (Assignment File 44-56). 

4. DirWM memorandum to Director, Plans and Policies, dtd 
5jan51 (Assignment file 44-56). 

5. Ibid. 

6. Procedures Analysis Report Nov51. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Util WMs file. 

10. Marine Corps Memorandum Number 41-52, MOS's ap- 
propriate for enlisted women Marines, dtd 17Apr52 (Util WMs file). 

11. MOS Chart. 

12. Sousa interview. 

13. MOS Chart. 

14. Hilgart interview. 

15. MOS Chart. 

16. MGySgt Rocita A. Martinez ltr to Hist&MusDiv, dtd 18Apr77 
(WM Response file, WM Research file). 

17. MOS Chart. 

18. Util WMs file. 

19. Asst Chief of Staff memorandum to Director, Plans and Poli- 
cies, dtd 26Jan53 (Util WMs file). 

20. Head, Classification Section memorandum to Head, Detail 
Branch, dtd 9Mar53 (Util WMs file). 

21. Personnel Control Branch memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff, 
G-l, dtd 26Feb53 (Util WMs file). 

22. Head, Classification Section memorandum to Head, Detail 
Branch, dtd 9Mar53 (Util WMs file). 

23. Dir Personnel memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff , G-l, dtd 
24Mar53 (Util WMs file). 

24. Asst Chief of Staff memorandum to Military Personnel Poli- 
cy Division, Office of Asst SecDef, dtd 3lMar53 (File, Requirement 
for WMs, box 7, WMs, HQMC Records). 

25. Women's Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948. 

26. Hamblet thesis. 

27. Hamblet interview. 

28. Comments furnished by PIO for release by DOD to free-lance 
writer, dtd 2lMar55 (Util WMs file). 

29. Lieutenant Colonel Gail M. Reals interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 6Jan77 (Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Reals interview. 

30. Clowers papers. 

31. LtCol Emma H. Clowers' Navy Commendation Citation (Man- 
power Department, HQMC). 

32. Ryan interview. 

33. Bilski interview. 

34. DirWMs memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff, G-3, dtd 
12May52 (File 1500, Training and Education, box 3, WMs HQMC 
Records), hereafter Training file. 

35. DirWMs memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff, G-3, dtd 
HAug52 (Training file). 

36. Camp Lejeune Globe, 23Jan53- 

37. Ibid., 8Jan53. 

38. Unit Diary, WM Co, MBCL, 8Jan-13Feb 53. 

39. MSgt Lillian J. West ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
22May77 (WM Response file, WM Research file). 

40. DirWMs memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff, G-3, dtd 
7May54 (File 1510, Enlisted Training, Box 3, WMs HQMC Records). 

41. Camp Lejeune Globe newsclippings, undtd, loaned by GySgt 
Frances Curwen Bilski. 

42. Carville interview. 



NOTES 



201 



CHAPTER 6 

UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: PEPPER BOARD, 

1964-1972 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: File 5300, WM Program Study Group, box 6, WMs HQMC 
Records, hereafter WMPSG file; Notebook, Pepper Board Backup 
Material, box 2, WM Research file, hereafter Pepper Board note- 
book; File, Study No. 1-64, box 6, WMs, HQMC Records, here- 
after Study 1-64 file; File, Major Accomplishments (Code AW) 
1967-1973, box 1, WM Research file, hereafter Maj Accomplishment 
file; Woman Marine Newsletters, box 2, WM Research file, here- 
after WM Newsletter, File, 1200 Classification and Designation, Box 
3, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter Classification and Designation 
file; File, Assignment & Distribution (1957-1971), box 3, WMs 
HQMC Records, hereafter Assignment & Distribution file; File 5200, 
General Management file, box 5, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter 
General Management file; File, Assignment of WMs to WestPac, 
box 7, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter WMs to WestPac file; File, 
Assignment of WMs Overseas Box 6, WMs HQMC Records; LtCol 
Jane L. Wallis interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 9Mar77, 
hereafter Wallis interview; LtCol Vea J. Smith interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, dtd 2Feb77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC), hereafter Smith interview. 

1. DirWMs comments on replies from MCBulletin 5312 of 
27Feb63, dtd 24Dec64 (WMPSG file). 

2. Ibid. 

3. Col Barbara J. Bishop Itr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 31Jul77 
(WM Response file, WM Research file). 

4. Study 1-64 file. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 

7. CMC Itr to LtGen Robert H. Pepper, dtd 3Aug64 (Pepper Board 
notebook). 

8. Ibid. 

9. Director of Personnel memorandum to CMC, dtd 18Dec64 
(Pepper Board Notebook). 

10. Ibid. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Ibid. 

13. DirWMs memorandum to CMC, dtd 2Dec65 (WMPSG file). 

14. Ibid. 

15. CMC handwritten comments on memorandum from Asst 
Chief of Staff, G-l to CMC, dtd 22Nov65 (WMPSG file). 

16. Maj Accomplishment file. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Maj Accomplishments, 30Jun67 (Maj Accomplishment file). 

21. WM Newsletter, Spring 67. 

22. LtCol Lillian H. Gridley official biography (RefSec, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

23. WM Newsletter, Spring 67. 

24. Dir WMs memorandum to Dir Policy Analysis Div, dtd 
15jan70 (File Miscellaneous White House/Ref Book Items/Fact 
Sheets, box 5, WMs HQMC Records), hereafter White House file. 

25. DirWMs memorandum to Chief of Staff (AD), dtd 20jan65 
(White House File). 

26. Maj Joan M. Collins interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 



dtd 7jan77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter 
Collins interview. 

27. Maj Carol Vertalino Deliberto interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
dtd 25Apr77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

28. Maj Accomplishments, 30jun69 (Maj Accomplishment file). 

29. Dir WMs memorandum to Asst Chief of Staff, G-3, dtd 
3Jan68 (File 1520, Officer Training, Box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

30. Ibid. 

31. Asst Chief of Staff, G-3 memorandum to DirWMs, dtd 9Feb68 
(Officer Training file). 

32. Dir WMs memorandum to Dir Policy Analysis Div, dtd 
15jan70 (White House file). 

33. Col Mary E. Bane interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
30Dec76 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC) hereafter 
Bane interview. 

34. Ibid. 

35. DirWMs memorandum to Dir Policy Analysis Div, dtd 
22Aug66 (File 1080, Personnel, Box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

36. WM Newsletter, Winter 67. 

37. DirWMs memorandum to Chief of Staff, G-l, dtd 7Jul66 
(Classification and Designation file). 

38. CMC Itr to CO, MAD, NATTC, Memphis, Tenn, dtd 21Jul66 
(Classification and Designation file). 

39- DirWMs comment, subj: Establishment of WM billet in Office 
of Dep Under Secretary Navy (Mpr), dtd 13Jan67 (Assignment & 
Distribution file). 

40. Statement of Col Jeanette I. Sustad before the Special Sub- 
committee, House of Representatives, Dec69 (Laws and Legal Mat- 
ters file, box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

41. Pepper Board notebook. 

42. Smith interview. 

43. Desert Dispatch, Barstow, Calif., 21Jun66. 

44. Command Chronology, MCSC, Barstow, Calif, 30Dec67 (Ar- 
chives, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

45. Prospector, Barstow, Calif., 21jul67. 

46. Unit Diaries, MCSC, Barstow, Calif., 1967-1971 (RefSec, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

47. Public Info Office memorandum, MCSC, Albany, Ga., do- 
nated by LtCol Vea J. Smith (Albany file, box 1, WM Research file). 

48. Albany Emblem, 2lMar69. 

49. Ibid., 18Aug67. 

50. Ibid., 9Feb68. 

51. Unit Diary, MCSC, Albany, Ga., Nov72 (RefSec, Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC). 

52. DirWMs input for CMC Ref Book Items, dtd 28Nov66 (Gener- 
al Management file). 

53. WM Newsletter, Autumn 66. 

54. DirWMs report to Chief of Staff, dtd l6Sep66 (WMs to West- 
Pac file). 

55. Ibid. 

56. Ibid. 

57. Bishop letter. 

58. Command Chronology, MCAS, Iwakuni, Japan, lJul-3lDec66 
(Archives, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

59. Torii Teller, Iwakuni, Japan, 29Mar67. 

60. WM Newsletter, Spring 67. 

61. Torii Teller, 27Mar67. 

62. WM Newsletter, Autumn 66. 

63. Stars & Stripes, 230ct66. 

64. Maj Nancy A. Carroll Itr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 



202 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



17Apr77 (Wm Response file, WM Research file). 

65. Wallis interview. 

66. Stars & Stripes, 19Jul67. 

67. Wallis interview. 

68. Ibid. 

69. Ibid. 

70. Ibid. 

71. Sustad interview. 

72. Connolly interview. 

73. Quoted from MSgt B. J. Dulinsky ltr to DirWMs, dtd 
18Mar67, WM Newsletter, Spring 67. 

74. Quoted from Captain E. E. Filkins ltr to DirWMs, dtd 
l6Aug68, WM Newsletter, Summer 68. 

75. Lieutenant Colonel E. E. Davis interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, dtd 22Mar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

76. LtCol Vera M. Jones interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
24Mar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

77. "Information on Saigon," booklet by DirWMs (File Women 
Marines in Vietnam, box 1, WM Research file). 

78. Quoted from Captain E. E. Filkins ltr to DirWMs, dtd 7jan69, 
WM Newsletter, Spring 69. 

79. Quoted from Captain Vera M. Jones ltr to DirWMs, dtd 
3Feb68, WM Newsletter, Winter 68. 

80. Quoted from MSgt B. J. Dulinsky ltr to DirWMs, dtd 9Feb68. 

81. Quoted from Captain E. E. Filkins ltr to DirWMs, dtd 
15Aug68. 

82. Quoted from SSgt E. Salazar ltr to GySgt H. Dowd, dtd 
10Sep69, WM Newsletter, Winter 69- 

83. ComUSMACV msg to CMC, dtd Jun70 (WM Research file). 

84. Maj Charlene S. Itchawitch ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
19jan77 (WM Response file, WM Research file). 

85. Maj Accomplishment file, 30jun67. 

86. Woman Marine Geographical Assignments, 30jun71 (Assign- 
ment & Distribution file). 

CHAPTER 7 

UTILIZATION AND NUMBERS: SNELL 

COMMITTEE, 1973-1977 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from Ad Hoc Committee on Increased Effectiveness and Utiliza- 
tion of Women in the Marine Corps File, box 1, WM Research file, 
hereafter Ad Hoc Committee file; Speeches and articles by DirWMs, 
notebook, box 2, WM Research file, hereafter DirWMs speech note- 
book; File, WMs in FMF, Pilot Program, box 1, WM Research file, 
hereafter WMs in FMF file; Bane interview; Maj Kathleen V. Ab- 
bott Abies ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 7jul77 (WM Response 
file, WM Research file), hereafter Abies ltr; Biographies of WMs 
in the Marine Corps Band file, Box 1, WM Research file, hereafter 
Marine Corps Band file. 

1. Ad Hoc Committee file. 

2. Quoted from Deputy C/S (Manpower) ltr to Assistant C/S, 
et. al., dtd 18Sep72 (Ad Hoc Committee file). 

3. Quoted from DirWMs memorandum to CMC, dtd 180ct73 
(Ad Hoc Committee file). 

4. Senior Member, Ad Hoc Committee memorandum to Depu- 
ty C/S (Manpower), dtd 3jul73 (Ad Hoc Committee file). 

5. Recommendation No. 7, Report of Ad Hoc Committee (Ad 
Hoc Committee file). 



6. Report of Ad Hoc Committee (Ad Hoc Committee file). 

7. Remarks by Col Margaret A. Brewer, Defense Manpower Com- 
mission, dtd 15May75 (DirWMs speech notebook). 

8. Parris Island Boot, 9jul76. 

9. Navy Times, 28Mar77. 

10. Col Margaret A. Brewer, "The Marine Team," Marine Corps 
Gazette, Apr76. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Navy Times, 13Aug75. 

13. Capt Charles Barber, Provost Marshal, Parris Island memoran- 
dum to Captain Weda, dtd 5Feb74 (WM Research file). 

14. Headquarters Marine Corps Hotline, Apr75. 

15. Cpl Mary F. Bungcayo interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
2lMar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

16. Hilgart interview. 

17. 2dLt Judith Cataldo ltr to Hist&MusDiv, dtd 22Mar77 (WM 
Response file, WM Research file). 

18. Ibid. 

19. Navy Times, 27Apr7 '4. 

20. Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C., 9Jan75. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Divlnfo news release no. DLS-145-C2-77 (WM Research file). 

23. MCRD Command Chronology, Jun-Dec73 (Archives, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

24. Quantico Sentry, l4Jan74. 

25. Twentynine Palms Observation Post, l4Mar75. 

26. The Newport News (Va.) Times Herald, lljul75. 

27. PIO, Camp Lejeune, N.C., news release no. 08-103-75, dtd 
2Sep75. 

28. Camp Lejeune Globe, l7Feb77. 

29. Beaufort Jet Steam, 21Jan77. 

30. Sgt Geneva Jones interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 2lMar77 
(Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

31. Camp Lejeune Globe, April. 

32. LCpl Katie Jones Dixon interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
2lMar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

33. Cherry Point Windsock, 19jul74. 

34. WM Newsletter, Winter 68. 

35. SgtMaj Jaunal ltr to Hist&MusDiv, dtd lFeb77 (WM Response 
file, WM Research file). 

36. Brewer interview. 

37. Johnson biography (Marine Corps Band file). 

38. Brewer interview. 

39- Individual biographies, Women in the Marine Corps Band 
(Marine Corps Band file). 

40. WMs in FMF file. 

41. CMC msg to FMF commanders, dtd 19Feb74 (WMs in the 
FMF file). 

42. Cherry Point Windsock, 19jul74. 

43. Ibid. 

44. CG, IstMarDiv msg to CMC, dtd 4Nov74 (WMs in FMF file). 

45. Ibid. 

46. CG, 2d MAW ltr to CMC, dtd 25Nov74 (WMs in FMF file). 

47. CG, FMFPac msg to CMC, dtd 30Oct74 (WMs in FMF file). 

48. Los Angeles Times, 29Aug76. 

49. Ibid. 

50. Ibid. 

51. Capt K. A. Gordon interviews with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd 9Sep77 (WM Research file). 

52. Bane interview. 



NOTES 



203 



53. Ibid. 

54. Ibid. 

55. Abies ltr. 

56. Ibid. 

57. Col Margaret A. Brewer, "The Marine Team" Marine Corps 
Gazette, Apr76. 

CHAPTER 8 
RESERVES AFTER KOREA 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from Files, Reserve 46, box 7, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter 
Reserve 46 file; File 1510/6, Reserves, box 6, WMs HQMC Records, 
hereafter Reserves file; File Pll/3-1, Organized Reserve, box 7, WMs, 
HQMC Records; File, Reserves after Korea, box 1, WM Research 
file, hereafter Res after Korea file; Sousa interview; MSgt Laura J. 
Dennis interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, hereafter Dennis in- 
terview. (The author was I&I, WM Platoon, Boston, 1957-1958, and 
in 1975-1976 prepared two staff studies for the Division of Reserve 
on the training of senior Women Reserve Officers.) 

1. Reserve Memorandum 2-52, concept of the Woman Marine 
Platoons of the Organized Marine Corps Reserve, dtd 22jan52 
(Reserve 46 file). 

2. Dennis interview. 

3. Sousa interview. 

4. Reserve Marine, Feb 5 2. 

5. Navy Times, 24Dec55. 

6. Roster of Platoons (Reserve 46 file). 

7. Reserve Structure Board, DivRes, dtd 6May58 (Res after Korea 
file). 

8. LtCol Elsie E. Hill comments, dtd l4May58 (Reserve 46 file). 

9. DirWMs memorandum to Division of Reserve, dtd l6May58 
(Reserve 46 file). 

10. DirWMs memorandum to Chief of Staff, dtd 3QJun58 (Reserve 
46 file). 

11. LtCol Mary E. Roddy scrapbook loaned to Hist&MusDiv. 

12. DirWMs comments, dtd 28Jun67 (Reserve file). 

13. Women Marines Reservists, Ad Hoc Committee Report, dtd 
13Sep67 (Res after Korea file). 

14. MCO 1001R.47, dtd 10jun71 (Res after Korea file). 

15. DivRes talking paper, dtd 3May76 (Res after Korea file). 

16. MajGen Michael P. Ryan memorandum to CMC, dtd 23jul75 
(Res after Korea file). 

17. CMC msg to CG 4th MarDiv and CG 4th MAW (Res after 
Korea file). 

18. LtCol Patricia A. Hook interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtdjun77. __ 

19. News clipping, dateline Ft. Benning, Ga. (Ref Card, WM 
Research file). 

20. Ibid. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Ibid. 

CHAPTER 9 
RECRUIT TRAINING 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from WRTB Order 5000.3B, SOP for recruit training, 15Apr63, 
loaned by SgtMaj Eleanor E. Judge to the Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 



hereafter SOP63; WRTB Order P5000.3D, SOP for recruit train- 
ing, 15Sep71, loaned by Maj Joan M. Collins to Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, hereafter SOP71; MCRD Order P1510.26, SOP for female 
recruit training, dtd 20Dec76 (WM Research file), hereafter SOP76; 
File Pll/2, Recruit Training, box 5, WMs HQMC Records, here- 
after Recruit Training file; File 1510, Enlisted Training, box 3, WMs 
HQMC Records, hereafter Enlisted Training file; File 1103/1, New 
WM Complex, Woman Recruit Training Command files, PISC, here- 
after WM Complex file; Hill interview; Judge interview; LtCol Vera 
M.Jones interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 24Mar77 (Oral 
Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC) hereafter Jones interview; 
Capt Nancy A. Davis interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
7jun77 (WM Research file), hereafter Davis interview; CWO Vir- 
ginia R. Painter interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 22Mar77 
(WM Research File), hereafter Painter interview; MSgt Bridget V. 
Connolly interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 4jan77 (Oral 
Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Connolly inter- 
view. (The author served as S-3, WRTB; commanding officer, Recruit 
Company; and executive officer, WRTB from Oct6l-Aug63.) 

1. SOP76. 

2. Ibid. 

3. CO 3d RTB ltr to CMC, dtd 15Sep52 (Recruit Training file). 

4. CO 3d RTB ltr to DirWMs, dtd 3lMay51 (Recruit Training file). 

5. Ibid. 

6. Col Katherine A. Towle, 2d endorsement on CO 3d RTB ltr 
to CMC, dtd 15Sep52 (Recruit Training file). 

7. CMC msg to CG MCRD, PISC, dtd 18Aug52 (Recruit Train- 
ing file). 

8. CMC ltr to CG MCRD, PISC, dtd 24Apr58 (Enlisted Train- 
ing file). 

9. Leatherneck, Dec58, p. 35. 

10. Ibid., p. 38. 

11. Ibid., p. 39. 

12. CG MCRD, PISC, ltr to CMC, dtd 6Mar6l (Enlisted Train- 
ing file). 

13. WM Newsletter, 1967-1969 (WM Research file); Maj Accom- 
plishments file 1967-1970. 

14. Input for DirWM newsletter from LtCol Jenny Wrenn, dtd 
8Apr70 (WM Research file). 

15. Judge interview. 

16. Connolly interview. 

17. Input for DirWM newsletter from LtCol Jenny Wrenn, dtd 
8Apr70 (WM Research file). 

18. Judge interview. 

19. Collins interview. 

20. Reals interview. 

21. SOP71. 

22. Quoted in Parade, 1958 (Hamblet scrapbook). 

23. SOP63; SOP71; SOP76. 

24. SOP76. 

25. Painter interview. 

26. SOP63; SOP71. 

27. Davis interview. 

28. Hill interview. 

29. Farris Island Boot, 10Oct55. 

30. Hill interview. 

31. Farris Island Boot, 7May76. 

32. SOP63; SOP71; SOP76. 

33. Constance Shafter ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 4Mar77 
(WM Research file). 



204 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



34. SOP63; SOP71; SOP76. 

35. Parris Island Boot, l6Mar68. 

36. Jones interview; Davis interview. 

37. Parris Island Boot, 4Nov50. 

38. Marine Corps Gazette, teb63, p. 74. 

39. Parris Island Boot, 40ct64. 

40. Public Works Officer ltr to CO WRTB, dtd 3lAug67 (WM 
Complex file). 

41. CO WRTB ltr to CG MCRD, PISC, dtd 9Feb75 (WM Com- 
plex file). 

42. Jones interview. 

CHAPTER 10 
OFFICER TRAINING 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from File, Woman Officer School, MCDEC, MCB, Quantico, 20 
December 1974, Disestablishment, WM Research file, hereafter 
WOS File; LtCol Barbara E. Dolyak interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, dtd 13Sep77, hereafter Dolyak interview. (The author at- 
tended officer candidate training in 1953 and 1954, attended WOIC 
in 1955, and served on the staff as supply officer and instructor in 
1957 and 1958. She served as instructor at WOS from 1965 until 
1970.) 

1. Clowers papers. 

2. Hamblet interview. 

3. CMC ltr A03C53-ch, dtd l4Sep71, referenced in Col Williams 
F. Saunders ltr to CG, MCDEC, dtd 3lMay72 (WOS file). 

4. CMC ltr to CG, MCDEC, dtd 20Feb73 (WOS file). 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 

7. CG, MCDEC ltr to CMC, dtd I60ct74 (WOS file). 

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Dolyak interview. 

11. CMC ltr to multiple addresses, White letter No. 5-76, dtd 
23jun76 (WOS file). 

12. Ibid. 

13. Dolyak interview. 

14. Basic School mission, quoted from briefing paper (WOS file). 

15. Dolyak interview. 

16. Ibid. 

17. CG MCDEC ltr to CMC, dtd 20Dec76 (WOS file). 

18. Ibid. 
19- Ibid. 

20. CMC ltr to CG, MCDEC, dtd 30Dec76 (WOS file). 

21. Capt Robin L. Austin, quoted in Camp Lejeune Globe, 
28Apr77. 

22. CG MCDEC ltr to CMC, dtd 29Jun77 (WOS file). 

23. BGen Paul X. Kelley, quoted in Quantico Sentry, 21Jun77. 

24. Cruise Book BC 3-77 loaned to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, by 
LtCol Barbara E. Dolyak. 

CHAPTER 11 
ADMINISTRATION OF WOMEN 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from a compilation of information, oral, written, and taped, 
gathered by means of letters and interviews. All women Marines 



interviewed for this history, active and former, were asked to com- 
ment on the subject of WM companies, barracks, and regulations 
and the relationship between officers and enlisted women. Regu- 
lations vary from post to post so that the information presented 
in this chapter is representative of most WM commands but not 
necessarily all of them. In March 1977, the author visited the WM 
Company, Headquarters Battalion, HQMC; the WM Barracks at 
Cherry Point, and Headquarters and Service Company, Base Material 
Battalion, MCB, Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

1. Col Katherine A. Towle ltr to MajGen Leroy P. Hunt, dtd 
23Dec48 (File Al/8, Reserve, Division of, box 7, WMs HQMC 
Records). 

2. Col Julia E. Hamblet memo to Asst C/S G-l, dtd 14Nov48 
(File 5321 Allowances T/Os, box 6, WMs HQMC Records). 

3. Gen Louis H. Wilson, White Letter No. 5-76, to all General 
Officers, all Commanding Officers, and all Officers In Charge, dtd 
23jun76 (WM Research file). 

4. Maj Gerald W. Sims interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
upon visit of author to Base Material Battalion, Marine Corps Base, 
Camp Lejeune, N.C, 22Mar77. 

5. Quantico Sentry, 25Mar77. 

6. Sgt Carol Fox interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
2lMar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

7. Ibid. 

8. LCpl Judith Coy and PFC Katie Dixon Jones interviews with 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 2lMar77 (Oral Hist Collection, 
Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Coy interview and Dixon interview. 

9. Col Margaret A. Brewer interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
I6jun77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter 
Brewer interview. 

10. Schultz interview. 

11. Painter and Bilski interviews. 

12. Hilgart interview. 

13. Collins interview. 

14. CWO-3 Eileen R. Scanlon interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC, dtd 12jan77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

15. Woman Marine Program Study Group, dtd 30Nov64 (WM 
Research file). 

16. Paula Wiltshire Sentipai ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd 
24Jan77 (WM Research file). 

17. Lt Cathy A. Fremin interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd 20jun77 (WM Research file). 

18. LtCol Ruth F. Reinholz interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd HJan77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), here- 
after Reinholz interview. 

19. Maj Ruth D Woidyla interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd 20jun77 (WM Research file). 

20. Ibid. 

CHAPTER 12 
PROMOTIONS 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter was derived 
from File 1412, Promotions, box 5, WMs HQMC Records, here- 
after Promotions file; and Director of WMs Newletters 1966-1970. 
All women Marines interviewed for this history were asked to com- 
ment on promotion policies and their effect on careers and on 
morale. 

1. Public Law 90-130. 



NOTES 



205 



2. CWO-4 Ruth L Wood ltr to Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, dtd lApr77 
(Response file, WM Research file). 

3. Dir WMs Newsletter, Winter 68 (WM Research file). 

4. Remarks of the President upon signing H.R. 5894, Office of 
the White House Press Secretary (Promotions file). 

5. Col Margaret A. Brewer, "The Marine Team," Marine Corps 
Gazette, Apr76. 

6. WMs Newsletter, Spring68 (WM Research file). 

7. Dir WMs comments on study to reevaluate the first ser- 
geant/sergeant major program, dtd 2lSep56 (Promotions file). 

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Col Julia E. Hamblet memo to Chief of Staff, dtd 2lNov58, 
Subj: Report of conversation with the Commandant relative to the 
first sergeant/sergeant major program (Promotion file). 

11. MCO 1421.6, dtd 3May60. 

12. Parris Island Boot, l9Feb65. 

13. Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps memo to the Comman- 
dant, dtd 1Nov71 (Promotion file). 

14. Ibid. 

15. Dir WMs comments, dtd 19Nov71 (Promotion file). 

16. Asst Chief of Staff memo to Deputy Chief of Staff, Man- 
power, dtd 7Aug72 (Promotion file). 

17. News article undtd, Dir of WMs scrapbook (WMs HQMC 
Records). 

CHAPTER 13 

MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, AND DEPENDENT 

HUSBANDS 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter was derived 
from File 5730, Congressional legislative liaison, box 5, WMs, 
HQMC Records; file, Marriage-Discharge/Transfers, box 3, WMs, 
HQMC Records, hereafter Marriage file; Dir WMs Newsletter, 
1966-1970, WM Research file; File, Miscellaneous (White House/Ref 
Book items/Fact Sheet), box 5, WMs HQMC Records, hereafter Misc 
file; Col Jeanette I. Sustad interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd 20Jun77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), here- 
after Sustad interview; Capt Katherine A. Gordon, interview with 
Hist&MusDiv, dtd 29Jun77 (WM Research file), hereafter Gordon 
interview. 

1. Dir WMs comment, dtd 2lSep59 (Marriage file). 

2. WMs Newsletter, l6Aug66 (WM Research file). 

3. Ibid. 

4. Proposed Executive Order, Regulations Governing Discharge 
from the Armed Forces of Women Serving under the Army-Navy 
Nurses Act of 1947 and the Women's Armed Forces Integration Act 
of 1948 (Marriage file). 

5. LtCol Margaret A. Brewer comments to Mary Ann Kuhn of 
the Washington Daily News, dtd lOct70 (Misc file). 

6. Sustad interview. 

7. Gordon interview. 

8. Judge interview. 

9. Sustad interview. 

10. Maj Mary Sue League papers donated to the Hist&MusDiv, 
HQMC (WM Research file). 

11. MCO 5000.12, dtd l6Jul75 (WM Research file). 

12. Office of the Asst SecDef (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and 
Logistics) Background Study, Use of Women in the Military, dtd 
May77 (WM Research file). 



13. RAdm Clifford A. Swanson ltr to Office of the Judge Ad- 
vocate General, dtd 5jan49 (Marriage file). 

14. Col Jeanette I. Sustad remarks to Special Subcommittee on 
Utilization of Manpower in the Military, House Armed Services Com- 
mittee, dtd 6Mar72 (File Laws and Legal Matters, box 5, WMs 
HQMC Records). 

15. Equal Opportunity Actions Affecting Military Women 
(1972-1976) (WM Research file). 

16. B.J. Simmons, Jr., Department of Navy Bureau of Personnel 
memo to Deputy Under Secretary of Navy (Manpower), dtd 13Mar68 
(File 5200, General Management, box 5, WM HQMC Records). 

17. Clowers papers. 

18. Dir WMs memo to Head, Career Planning Branch, dtd 
10Aug72 (File 5600, Publications, box 5, WMs HQMC Records). 

19. Equal Opportunity Actions Affecting Military Women 
(1972-1976) (WM Research file). 

CHAPTER 14 
UNIFORMS 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from: Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Uniform Regulations U.S. 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve, 1945, dtd 30Apr45 (Marine Corps 
Historical Library, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC), hereafter Uniform Regu- 
lations, 1945; Marine Corps Manual, 1949, with all changes (Ma- 
rine Corps Historical Library, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC); Marine Corps 
Order P1020.34, dtd 2jun6l, with all changes to include MCO 
P1020.34C, dtd 12Mar76 (Central Files, HQMC), hereafter MCO 
P1020.34; WM Newsletter, and Munn interview. 

1. Uniform Regulations, 1945. 

2. Warner interview. 

3. Carville interview. 

4. Maj Harry D. Elms interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
Nov76, (WM Research file). 

5. Munn interview. 

6. Parris Island Boot, Nov 50. 

7. Munn interview. 

8. Hamblet interview. 

9. DirWMs memorandum to Secretary-Recorder, Permanent Ma- 
rine Corps Uniform Board, dtd 13Mar62 (Uniform notebook, box 
2, WM Research file), hereafter Uniform notebook. 

10. DirWMs memorandum to President, Permanent Marine Corps 
Uniform Board, dtd 2jul62 (Uniform notebook). 

11. Col Mary E. Bane interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
Nov76. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Munn interview. 

14. Newsclippings marked Journal, 3lAug52, otherwise uniden- 
tified, donated by LtCol Munn (box 2, WM Research file). 

15. "The Premier Presentation of Women Marines Uniforms 
designed by Mainbocker, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.," 
28Aug52, program donated by LtCol Ben Alice Day Munn (box 
2, WM Research file). 

16. Henderson interview. 

17. Parris Island Boot, 26Jan66. 

18. WM Newsletter, Winter 68. 

19. Col Jeanette I: Sustad interview with Hist&MusDiv, HQMC, 
dtd Nov76. 

20. Paula Wiltshire Sentipal interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 
Nov76. 



206 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



21. MCO P1020.34C, dtd 12Mar76. 

22. LtCol Elsie E. Hill ltr to Col Margaret M. Henderson, dtd 
7Dec6l (File 1021, Clothing & Uniform, box 1, WMs HQMC 
Records). 

23. MCO P1020.34A, Cl, dtd 4Nov63. 

24. MCB 1020, dtd 22Sep75 (Central Files, HQMC). 

25. Navy Times, 20jun77. 

CHAPTER 15 
LAURELS AND TRADITIONS 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter was derived 
from Laurels and Traditions Section, WM Research Notebook 3, 
box 2, WM Research file, hereafter Laurels file; WM Anniversary 
file, box 2, WM Research file, hereafter Ann file; and Molly Ma- 
rine file, box 2, WM Research file, hereafter Molly Marine file. 

1. Director of WMs File, box 2, WM Research file. 

2. Col Hazel E. Benn's Legion of Merit citation (Manpower Dept, 
HQMC). 

3. Col Hazel E. Benn interview with Hist&MusDiv, dtd 17jan77 
(Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

4. Leatherneck, undated 1953- 

5. SSgt Barbara O. Barnwell's Navy and Marine Corps Medal ci- 
tation (Manpower Dept, HQMC). 

6. Syracuse (NY.) Herald- American, 9Aug53. 

7. Navy Times, 17jul63. 

8. GySgt D. L. Kearns' Navy and Marine Corps Medal citation 
(Manpower Dept, HQMC). 

9. IstLt V. K. Brame's Navy and Marine Corps Medal citation 
(Manpower Dept, HQMC). 

10. Keidsville (N.C.) Review, undated (Laurels file). 

11. Oceanside (Calif.) Breeze, 18Nov76. 

12. LCpl Sheryl L. Young's Navy and Marine Corps Medal cita- 
tion (Manpower Dept, HQMC). 

13. Capt Leaverton, LtCol O'Hollern, and LtCol Reinholz' Bronze 
Star medal citations (Manpower Dept, HQMC). 

14. Leatherneck, Jul64. 

15. IstSgt Josephine S. Davis letter and papers donated to 
Hist&MusDiv, dtd l4Dec76 (Response file, box 2, WM Research 
file), hereafter Davis papers. 

16. SSgt J. Gebers ltr to SSgt Joan Ambrose, dtd 7May65 (Laurels 
file) 

17. Davis papers. 

18. Headquarters Marine Corps photo No. 12358, dtd 13Feb44. 

19. Dir WMs memo to Col Dana C. Hart, dtd 7Mar51 (Ann file). 

20. Brewer interview. 

21. Mrs. John B. Cook telecon to Hist&MusDiv, dtd 18May77. 

22. Hamblet interview. 

23. Gen Clifton B. Cates ltr to Col Katherine A. Towle, dtd 
l3Feb51 (Ann File). 

24. Memo for file, unsigned, dtd 21jan54 (Ann file). 

25. Gen Randolph McC. Pate ltr to Col Julia E. Hamblet, dtd 
13Feb56 (Ann file). 



26. Dir WMs memo to Chief of Staff, dtd 12Jan60 (Ann file). 

27. Dir WMS comment on proposed CMC message on the occa- 
sion of the 31st anniversary of WMs, dtd 7jan74 (Ann file). 

28. Ibid. 

29. Message from the Commandant, dtd 13Feb74 (Ann file). 

30. Parris Island Boot, 20Feb70. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Molly Marine file. 

33. WMA file, box 2, WM Research file. 

CHAPTER 16 
THE SERGEANTS MAJOR OF WOMEN MARINES 

Unless otherwise noted, the material in this chapter is derived 
from the official biographies of the sergeants major (File Sergeant 
Major, WM Research file). 

1. Qualification for Sergeant Major of Women Marines (File Ser- 
geant Major, WM Research file). 

2. Sergeant Major Grace A. Carle interview with Hist&MusDiv, 
dtd 15Mar77 (Oral Hist Collection, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

CHAPTER 17 
THE DIRECTORS OF WOMEN MARINES 

Unless otherwise noted, the material for this chapter was der- 
ived from the official biographies of each of the Directors of Wom- 
en Marines and collected news articles filed under each one's name, 
Dir WMs File, box 2, WM Research file, hereafter Dir WMs file; 
and Women Marines File, RefSec, Hist&MusDiv, HQMC. (The 
author attended the ceremony marking the disestablishment of the 
Director of Women Marines office on 30jun77.) 

1. Katherine A. Towle File (Dir WMs file). 

2. Oakland Tribune, l6May63- 

3. Hamblet interview. 

4. Munn interview. 

5. Julia E. Hamblet File (Dir WMs file). 

6. Boston Post, 19Apr53. 

7. Judge interview. 

8. Margaret M. Henderson File (Dir WMs file). 

9. Col Ruth C. Streeter, Tales of an Ancient Marine (privately 
published), p. 56 (Hist&MusDiv, HQMC). 

10. Barbara J. Bishop file (Dir WMs file). 

11. Jeanette I. Sustad file (Dir WMs file). 

12. Col Jeanette I. Sustad's Legion of Merit citation (Manpower 
Dept, HQMC). 

13. Margaret A. Brewer file (Dir WMs file). 

14. Brewer interview, 30Dec76. 

15. Brewer interview, 16jun77. 

16. Col Margaret M. Henderson briefing of Indonesian WAVE 
officers, 20Nov63 (Speeches by Directors and CMC, box 2, WM 
Research file). 

17. Brewer interview, l6jun77. 

18. Ibid. 



Appendix A 

Women Marines Strength, 1948-1977 



DATE OFFICERS ENLISTED TOTAL 

30 June 48 8 159 167 

30 June 49 31 322 353 

30 June 50 45 535 580 

30 June 51 63 2,002 2,065 

30 June 52 115 2,347 2,462 

30 June 53 160 2,502 2,662 

30 June 54 163 2,339 2,502 

30 June 55 135 2,113 2,248 

30 June 56 113 1,634 1,747 

30 June 57 107 1,510 1,617 

30 June 58 115 1,530 1,645 

30 June 59 123 1,703 1,826 

30 June 60 123 1,488 1,611 

30 June 61 117 1,495 1,612 

30 June 62 121 1,576 1,697 

30 June 63 135 1,563 1,698 

30 June 64 128 1,320 1,448 

30 June 65 140 1,441 1,581, 

30 June 66 153 1,697 1,832 

30 June 67 189 2,122 2,311 

30 June 68 228 2,555 2,780 

30 June 69 284 2,443 2,727 

30 June 70 299 2,119 2,418 

30 June 71 277 1,981 2,258 

30 June 72 282 2,066 2,348 

30 June 73 315 1,973 2,288 

30 June 74 336 2,402 2,738 

30 June 75 345 2,841 3,186 

30 June 76 386 3,133 3,519 

30 June 77 407 3,423 3,830 



207 



Appendix B 

Occupational Fields for Women Officers 

Occupational fields in which women officers are eligible to serve, and percentages in each, as of 31 
December 1976.* 

NO. PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE 

WOMEN OF WOMEN OF USMC 

OFFICERS OFFICERS OFFICERS 

01 PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATION 142 33.41 30.80 

02 INTELLIGENCE 18 4.23 9.42 

04 LOGISTICS 0.00 0.00 

13 ENGINEER AND SHORE PARTY 4 0.94 0.56 

14 DRAFTING, SURVEYING, AND MAPPING 0.00 0.00 

15 PRINTING AND REPRODUCTION 0.00 0.00 

21 ORDNANCE 0.00 0.00 

23 EXPLOSIVES ORDNANCE DISPOSAL 0.00 0.00 

25 OPERATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS 20 4.70 2.22 

26 SIGNALS INTEL/GROUND ELECT WF 0.00 0.00 

28 TELECOM MAINTENANCE 0.00 0.00 

30 SUPPLY ADMINISTRATION/OPERATIONS 28 6.59 2.25 

31 TRANSPORTATION 5 1.17 16.67 

32 REPAIR SERVICES 0.00 0.00 

33 FOOD SERVICES 8 1.90 20.51 

34 AUDITING, FINANCE, AND ACCOUNTING 46 10.80 21.00 

35 MOTOR TRANSPORT 6 1.40 4.41 

40 DATA SYSTEMS 18 4.23 6.47 

41 MC EXCHANGE 12 2.82 44.44 

43 PUBLIC AFFAIRS 14 3.29 35.90 

44 LEGAL SERVICES 26 6.11 5.21 

46 PHOTOGRAPHY 5 1.17 5.26 

49 TRAINING AND TRAINING AIDS 3 0.70 17.65 

55 BAND 0.00 0.00 

57 NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL 0.00 0.00 

58 MILITARY POLICE AND CORRECTIONS 5 1.15 5.26 

59 ELECTRONICS MAINTENANCE 1 0.23 0.71 

60/61 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE 4 0.94 1.98 

65 AVIATION ORDNANCE 0.00 0.00 

66 AVIONICS 0.00 0.00 

68 WEATHER SERVICE 3 0.70 21.43 

70 AVIATION OPERATIONS 1 0.23 4.17 

72 AIR CONTROL/SUPPORT/ANTIAIR WF 9 2.11 1.61 

73 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL 13 3.05 13.40 

99 IDENTIFYING AND REPORTING MOS'S 34 8.00 3.01 

03, 08, 18, 75 — not eligible for assignment 



^(Source: WM Research file) 

209 



Appendix C 

Occupational Fields for Enlisted Women 

Occupational fields in which enlisted women are eligible to serve, and percentages in each, as of 31 
December 1976* 

NO. PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE 

ENLISTED OF ENLISTED OF ENLISTED 

WOMEN WOMEN MARINES 

01 PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATION 950 30.42 9.05 

02 INTELLIGENCE 4 0.12 0.33 

04 LOGISTICS 22 0.70 1.84 

00 UTILITIES 38 1.21 1.63 

13 ENGINEER AND SHORE PARTY 31 0.99 0.37 

14 DRAFTING, SURVEYING, AND MAPPING 5 0.16 1.59 

15 PRINTING AND REPRODUCTION 14 0.44 6.90 

21 ORDNANCE 2 0.06 0.07 

23 EXPLOSIVES ORDNANCE DISPOSAL 0.00 0.00 

25 OPERATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS 155 4.96 1.21 

26 SIGNALS INTEL/GROUND ELECT WF 0.00 0.00 

28 TELECOM MAINTENANCE 166 5.31 4.11 

30 SUPPLY ADMINISTRATION/SUPPLY 443 14.18 3.87 

31 TRANSPORTATION 69 2.21 8.59 

32 REPAIR SERVICES 8 0.25 2.60 

33 FOOD SERVICES 16 0.51 0.39 

34 AUDITING, FINANCE, AND ACCOUNTING 139 4.45 8.17 

35 MOTOR TRANSPORT 186 5.95 1.41 

40 DATA SYSTEMS 101 3.23 6.18 

41 MC EXCHANGE 75 2.40 12.02 

43 PUBLIC AFFAIRS 53 1.69 15.19 

44 LEGAL SERVICES 91 2.99 16.98 

46 PHOTOGRAPHY 19 0.60 4.52 

49 TRAINING AND TRAINING AIDS 47 1.50 14,78 

55 BAND 28 0.89 3-76 

57 NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL 0.00 0.00 

58 MILITARY POLICE AND CORRECTIONS 90 2.88 2.12 

59 ELECTRONICS MAINTENANCE 1 0.03 0.05 

60/61 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE 13 0.41 0.12 

65 AVIATION ORDNANCE 0.00 0.00 

66 AVIONICS 57 1.84 0.81 

68 WEATHER SERVICE 22 0.70 7.24 

70 AVIATION OPERATIONS 25 0.80 1.27 

72 AIR CONTROL/SUPPORT/ANTIAIR WF 0.00 0.00 

73 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL 15 0.48 1.86 

98 U.S. MARINE CORPS BAND 11 0.35 7.59 

99 IDENTIFYING AND REPORTING MOS'S 226 7.23 2.44 

03, 08, 18, 75 — not eligible for assignment 



*(Source; WM Research file) 

211 



Appendix D 

Women Marine Units, 1946-1977 



Company E, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall, 
Arlington, Virginia; activated 19 August 1946; disbanded 31 May 1950 



COMMANDING OFFICERS 

First Lieutenant Regina M. Durant 19 Aug 1946-30 Dec 1946 

Captain Elizabeth J. Elrod 31 Dec 1946-19 Dec 1948 

Captain Pauline B. Beckley 20 Dec 1948-31 May 1950 



Officers carried on rolls of Company C, Headquarters Battalion; enlisted women carried on rolls 
of Companies D and E, Headquarters Battalion, according to their work section. 

Company D, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall, Arlington, Vir- 
ginia, activated 1 July 1952 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Hen- 
derson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, 20 May 1970; deactivated 4 August 1977 



COMMANDING OFFICERS 

First Lieutenant Elaine T. Carville 1 Jul 1952-7 Jul 1953 

Major Jeanette Pearson 8 Jul 1953-2 Jun 1954 

Captain Joyce M. Hamman 3 Jun 1954-9 Nov 1954 

Second Lieutenant Elizabeth M. Faas 11 Nov 1954-1 Feb 1955 

Second Lieutenant Florence E. Land 2 Feb 1955-6 Mar 1955 

Second Lieutenant Valeria F. Hilgart 7 Mar 1955-19 Jan 1956 

Captain Virginia Caley 31 Jan 1956-31 Jul 1957 

Captain Patricia A. Maas 1 Aug 1957-9 Jun 1959 

First Lieutenant Dorothy A. Olds 10 Jun 1959-5 Jan I960 

Captain Patricia A. Watson 6 Jan 1960-25 Nov 1962 

Captain Carol J. Carlson 26 Nov 1962-31 Jan 1964 

Captain Gail M. Reals 3 Feb 1964-23 Dec 1966 

Captain Nancy J. Mackie 24 Dec 1966-13 Jun 1968 

Captain Melba J. Myers 14 Jun 1968-3 Jul 1968 

First Lieutenant Mary G. Nitsch 4 Jul 1968-23 Jul 1968 

Captain Jeanne A. Botwright 24 Jul 1968-1 Apr 1970 

Captain Charlene M. Summers 2 Apr 1970-23 Jan 1972 

First Lieutenant Karen I. Kelly 24 Jan 1972-7 Feb 1972 

Captain Joan M. Collins 8 Feb 1972-11 Jul 1974 

Captain Shelley B. Mayer 12 Jul 1974-18 Jul 1977 

First Lieutenant Cathy A. Fremin 19 Jul 1977-30 Aug 1977 

213 



214 A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

Woman Officer Training Detachment, Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quanti- 
co, Virginia: Captain Elsie E. Hill and staff attached to Headquarters Battalion; oper- 
ational control under G-3, Basic School. Unit activated only when class in session 
during summers of 1949 and 1950. First class began 20 June 1949. 

Woman Officer Training Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, 
Virginia, activated 16 May 1952 as permanent unit under Basic School 

Redesignated Women Marines Training Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, 
Quantico, Virginia 

Redesignated Woman Marine Detachment, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, 1 7 Decem- 
ber 1958 

Redesignated Woman Officer School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, 16 April 1965 

Woman Officer School redesignated as a school under the Education Center, Marine Corps Schools, 
Quantico, Virginia 12 June 1973; disestablished 20 December 1974 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Elsie E. Hill 20 Jun 1949-24 Sep 1951 

Captain Emma H. Hendrickson 25 Sep 1951-30 Nov 1951 

Lieutenant Colonel Julia E. Hamblet 16 May 1952-6 Apr 1953 

Major Dorothy M. Knox 7 Apr 1953-31 May 1953 

Major Margaret M. Henderson 1 Jun 1953-10 Dec 1954 

Major Mary Janice Hale 11 Dec 1954-11 May 1955 

Lieutenant Colonel Pauline B. Beckley 12 May 1955-10 Feb 1957 

Major Nita Bob Warner 11 Feb 1957-15 May 1957 

Lieutenant Colonel Emma Henderickson Clowers 16 May 1957-23 Mar 1959 

Major Nita Bob Warner 24 Mar 1959-1 May 1959 

Lieutenant Colonel Dorothy M. Knox 2 May 1959-11 Jun 1962 

Lieutenant Colonel Doris V. Kleberger 12 Jun 1962-16 Jun 1965 

Major Margaret A. Brewer 17 Jun 1965-30 Jul 1965 

Lieutenant Colonel Elsie E. Hill 31 Jul 1965-31 Oct 1966 

Major Ruth F. Reinholz 1 Nov 1966-31 Jan 1967 

Lieutenant Colonel Valeria F. Hilgart 1 Feb 1967-9 Apr 1970 

Lieutenant Colonel Theresa M. Hayes 10 Apr 1970-10 Jan 1972 

Lieutenant Colonel Carolyn J. Auldridge Walsh 11 Jan 1972-10 Jul 1973 

Lieutenant Colonel Roberta N. Roberts Patrick 12 Jul 1973-20 Dec 1974 



3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Caro- 
lina, activated 23 February 1949 

Redesignated Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South 
Carolina, 1 May 1954 

Redesignated Woman Recruit Training Command, Marine Corps Recruit Depot , Parris Island, South 
Carolina, 28 May 1976 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Margaret M. Henderson 23 Feb 1949-19 Jun 1950 

Captain Mary J. Hale 29 Aug 1950-17 Sep 1950 



WOMEN MARINE UNITS, 1946-1977 215 

Major Pauline B. Beckley 18 Sep 1950-25 Nov 1952 

Major Helen M. Tatum 26 Nov 1952-11 Jan 1953 

Major Nita Bob Warner 12 Jan 1953-7 Apr 1954 

Lieutenant Colonel Elsie E. Hill 8 Apr 1954-2 Sep 1956 

Major Jeanette I. Sustad 3 Sep 1956-21 Oct 1956 

Lieutenant Colonel Barbara J. Bishop 22 Oct 1956-25 Jul 1959 

Major Doris V. Kleberger 26 Jul 1959-2 Dec 1959 

Lieutenant Colonel Elsie E. Hill 3 Dec 1959-15 May 1962 

Lieutenant Colonel Julia E. Hamblet 16 May 1962-25 Apr 1965 

Lieutenant Colonel Dorothy M. Knox 26 Apr 1965-4 Apr 1967 

Major Mary E. Bane 5 Apr 1967-26 Oct 1967 

Lieutenant Colonel Ruth J. O'Holleran 27 Oct 1967-15 Jul 1969 

Lieutenant Colonel Jenny Wrenn 16 Jul 1969-9 Feb 1971 

Lieutenant Colonel Roberta N. Roberts 10 Feb 1971-11 Jul 1972 

Major Gail M. Reals 12 Jul 1972-15 Aug 1972 

Lieutenant Colonel Ruth F. Reinholz 16 Aug 1972-20 Dec 1972 

Major Gail M. Reals 21 Dec 1972-6 May 1973 

Lieutenant Colonel Jenny Wrenn 7 May 1973-30 Jul 1975 

Lieutenant Colonel Vera M. Jones 31 Jul 1975-14 Sep 1977 

Lieutenant Colonel Gail M. Reals 15 Sep 1977- 



Post Troops, 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Is- 
land, South Carolina, activated 11 January 1950 

SECTION COMMANDER 

Second Lieutenant Mary S. Mock 11 Jan 1950-21 Aug 1951 

Captain Emily Schultz 22 Aug 1951-14 Nov 1951 



Company W, Marine Barracks, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, activated 13 October 
1950 

Redesignated Camp Headquarters Women Marines Company, Headquarters and Service Battal- 
ion, Marine Barracks, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 29 November 1951 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, 
North Carolina, 1 June 1954 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base, 
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 9 June 1961; dectivated 2 August 1977 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Mary J. Fischer Elder 13 Oct 1950-5 Sep 1953 

Captain Elaine T. Carville 6 Sep 1953-16 Oct 1953 

Major Barbara J. Bishop 17 Oct 1953-11 Apr 1955 

First Lieutenant Nancy L. White 12 Apr 1955-11 Jul 1955 

Captain Mary Sue Mock 12 Jul 1955-4 Mar 1957 

Captain Margaret A. Brewer 8 Mar 1957-12 May 1958 

Captain Ellen B. Moroney 13 May 1958-11 Sep 1961 



216 A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

Captain Jane L. Wallis 12 Sep 1961-20 Mar 1964 

Captain Carol A, Vertalino 21 Mar 1964-26 May 1966 

Major Elsa L. Farman 27 May 1966-10 May 1967 

Captain Jo H. Hall 1 1 May 1967-23 Jan 1969 

Captain Delia J. Elden 24 Jan 1969-19 Jul 1970 

Captain Ruby J. Chapman 20 Jul 1970-29 Nov 1971 

Captain Juanita A. Lamb 30 Nov 1971- 20 Jun 1973 

Captain Carol L. Pollack 21 Jun 1973-13 Nov 1975 

Captain Linda Essex Edwards 14 Nov 1975-2 Aug 1977 

Woman Marine Company, Service Battalion, Marine Barracks, Camp Joseph H. Pen- 
dleton, California, activated 1 June 1951 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendle- 
ton, California, 20 September 1952 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pen- 
dleton, California, 1954 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base, 
Camp Pendleton, 21 January 1958 

Redesignated WM Company, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Regiment, Marine Corps Base, 
Camp Pendleton, 1 July 1962; deactivated 1 April 1974 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Jeanette I. Sustad 1 Jun 1951-27 Aug 1952 

Second Lieutenant Valeria F, Hilgart 28 Aug 1952-29 Nov 1952 

Second Lieutenant Catherine M. Gregory 30 Nov 1952-27 Mar 1953 

Captain Frances M. Johnson 28 Mar 1953-6 Sep 1954 

Second Lieutenant Ruth J. O'Holleran 7 Sep 1954-3 Dec 1955 

Captain Jenny Wrenn 4 Dec 1955-28 Feb 1957 

First Lieutenant Dorothy A. Olds 1 Mar 1957-10 Mar 1957 

Captain Marguerita C Russell 11 Mar 1957-26 Jan 1958 

Captain Clarabelle M. Merritt 27 Jan 1958-10 Jan i960 

Captain Martha A, Cox 11 Jan 1960-19 Sep 1961 

Captain Shirley L. Mink 20 Sep 1961-9 Oct 1963 

Major Florence E. Land 10 Oct 1963-4 Jul 1964 

First Lieutenant Carla H, Bednar 5 Jul 1964-1 Dec 1964 

First Lieutenant Sara R. Beauchamp 2 Dec 1964-1 Mar 1965 

First Lieutenant Jolana Johnson 2 Mar 1965-1 Oct 1966 

Captain Estella C. Rhodes 2 Oct 1966-30 Jun 1967 

Captain Mary S. Stevens League 1 Jul 1967-2 Dec 1968 

Captain Anna H, Williams 3 Dec 1968-2 Jul 1969 

Captain Sharyll A. B. Plato 3 Jul 1969-9 Sep 1969 

Captain Anna H, Williams 10 Sep 1969-19 Nov 1969 

Second Lieutenant Alice F. Jones 20 Nov 1969-30 Dec 1969 

Captain Barbara A. Schmidt 31 Dec 1969-29 Nov 1970 

Major Georgia L. Swickheimer 30 Nov 1970-6 Apr 1971 

First Lieutenant Sue E. Vanhaastert 7 Apr 1971-19 Jul 1971 

Second Lieutenant Roberta M, Baro 20 Jul 1971-2 Aug 1971 



WOMEN MARINE UNITS, 1946-1977 217 

Captain Lillian Hagener 3 Aug 1971-16 Aug 1973 

Captain Nancy J. Lewis Hackert 17 Aug 1973-12 Jan 1974 

First Lieutenant Donna M. Hug 11 Jan 1974-10 Feb 1974 

First Lieutenant Maria T. Hernandez 11 Feb 1974-1 Apr 1974 



Post Personnel Company, 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, 
Parris Island, South Carolina, activated 15 November 1951 

Redesignated Permanent Personnel Company, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps 
Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, 1 May 1954 

Redesignated Headquarters Company, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit 
Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina (date unknown) 

Redesignated Permanent Personnel Company , Woman Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps 
Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, 1 April 1958 

Redesignated Headquarters Company, Woman Marine Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit 
Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, 27 April 1964; deactivated 25 May 1976 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Emily Schultz 15 Nov 1951-25 Nov 1952 

Second Lieutenant Phyllis J. Young 26 Nov 1952-26 Jun 1953 

First Lieutenant Muriel J. Katschker 27 Jun 1953-18 Jul 1954 

Captain Essie M. Lucas 19 Jul 1954-12 Mar 1955 

First Lieutenant Ruth F. Reinholz 14 Mar 1955-12 Jun 1956 

Second Lieutenant Francis B. Newman 13 Jun 1956-7 Jul 1956 

Captain Constance Baker 8 Jul 1956-1 Nov 1957 

Captain Gussie R. Calhoun 2 Nov 1957-2 Mar 1959 

Major Doris V. Kleberger 3 Mar 1959-5 Jul 1959 

Captain Donrue Wever 6 Jul 1959-11 Jun I960 

First Lieutenant Betty L. Leonard 12 Jun 1960-20 Aug I960 

Captain Patsy A. Twilley 21 Aug 1960-22 Mar 1962 

First Lieutenant Jo Ann Kilday 23 Mar 1962-10 Sep 1962 

Captain Leah M. Draper 12 Sep 1962-30 Jun 1963 

First Lieutenant Jacqueline Leffler White 1 Jul 1963-31 Jan 1964 

Second Lieutenant Barbara J. Oliver 1 Feb 1964-16 Feb 1964 

First Lieutenant Vera M. Jones 17 Feb 1964-3 Jan 1965 

Captain Mary S. Stevens 4 Jan 1965-15 Aug 1966 

First Lieutenant Johnena J. Cochran 15 Aug 1966-6 Feb 1967 

First Lieutenant Suellen A. Beaulieu 7 Feb 1967-1 Aug 1967 

Captain Loretta J. Ross 2 Aug 1967-17 Mar 1968 

First Lieutenant Marie L. Arnold 18 Mar 1968-22 Dec 1968 

Captain Jean M. Panzer 23 Dec 1968-23 Sep 1969 

Major Karen G. Wheeler 24 Sep 1969-31 Oct 1969 

First Lieutenant Bonnie J. Tervo 1 Nov 1969-21 May 1970 

Second Lieutenant Elizabeth T. Agaisse 24 May 1970-3 Jul 1970 

Captain Emma G. Ramsey 5 Jul 1970-28 Feb 1971 

First Lieutenant Elizabeth T. Agaisse 1 Mar 1971-15 Apr 1971 

First Lieutenant Cheryl J. McCauley 18 Apr 1971-20 May 1971 

Captain Shirley E. Leaverton 21 May 1971-16 Jul 1973 



218 A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

First Lieutenant Barbara J. Gard 17 Jul 1973-11 Sep 1973 

Captain Carolyn Bever Wiseman 12 Sep 1973-23 Apr 1974 

First Lieutenant Susan V, Wagner 24 Apr 1974-26 Sep 1974 

Captain Carol A. Barber, 30 Sep 1974-9 Jul 1975 

Second Lieutenant Bonnie L, Duphiney 10 Jul 1975-2 Aug 1975 

Captain Barbara A, Martin 3 Aug 1975-25 May 1976 



Woman Marine Detachment- 1, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, acti- 
vated 15 May 1951 

Woman Marine Detachment-l redesignated Sub Unit- 2, Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps 
Air Station, upon reorganization of the air station on 15 March 1972; deactivated 20 February 1974 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Nita Bob Warner 15 May 1951-15 Dec 1952 

Major Shirley J, Fuetsch 16 Dec 1952-8 Jan 1953 

First Lieutenant Wilma Morris 9 Jan 1953-4 Feb 1953 

Major Ben Alice Day 5 Feb 1953-30 Dec 1954 

First Lieutenant Shirley A. Tate 1 Jan 1955-14 Mar 1955 

Major Helen A, Tatum 15 Mar 1955-29 Apr 1955 

Major Dorothy M. Knox 30 Apr 1955-3 Apr 1958 

Captain Valeria F, Hilgart 4 Apr 1958-17 Oct I960 

First Lieutenant Sonia Rivera-Cuevas 18 Oct 1960-16 Jan 1961 

Captain Marie J, Halvorsen 17 Jan 1961-11 Feb 1962 

First Lieutenant Nancy Talbot Rick 12 Feb 1962-13 Nov 1963 

Captain Nanette L, Beavers 14 Nov 1963-5 Nov 1966 

Major Roberta N. Roberts 6 Nov 1966-20 Aug 1967 

Captain Judith K, Lund 21 Aug 1967-26 Nov 1969 

First Lieutenant Eleanor J, McElroy 27 Nov 1969-22 Sep 1970 

Lieutenant Colonel Jane L, Wallis 23 Sep 1970-8 Mar 1971 

Major Barbara E, Dolyak 9 Mar 1971-1 May 1972 

Captain Marcia A, Biddleman 1 Jul 1972-1 Mar 1973 

CWO-3 June R. Doberstein 2 Mar 1973-20 Feb 1974 



Woman Marine Detachment-2, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Caro- 
lina, activated 1 March 1951; deactivated 31 December 1974 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Major Helen A, Wilson 1 Mar 1951-3 May 1951 

First Lieutenant Nancy J, Mecartney 4 May 1951-8 Sep 1953 

Captain Emily Schultz 9 Sep 1953-17 May 1954 

First Lieutenant Louise M, Snyder 18 May 1954-12 Sep 1954 

Captain Sara F, Hanan 13 Sep 1954-24 Jan 1955 

Captain Jeanne Fleming 25 Jan 1955-25 May 1956 

Captain Ruth F. Reinholz 16 Jun 1956-25 Nov 1957 

Captain Ruth J, O'Holleran 26 Nov 1957-24 May 1959 



WOMEN MARINE UNITS, 1946-1977 219 

Captain Inger R. Beaumont 25 May 1959-19 Jul 1959 

Major Anne S. Ritter 20 Jul 1959-17 Mar 1962 

Captain Martha A. Cox 18 Mar 1962-10 Dec 1964 

Captain Carolyn J. Auldridge 11 Dec 1964-15 Oct 1966 

First Lieutenant Elizabeth D. Doize 1 Nov 1966-28 May 1968 

Captain Loretta J. Liehs 29 May 1968-16 Jan 1969 

Major Nanette L. Beavers 17 Jan 1969-14 Jan 1970 

Captain Donna J. Sherwood 15 Jan 1970-23 Aug 1970 

Captain Sara A. Beauchamp 24 Aug 1970-25 Mar 1972 

Captain Sharon L. Sherer 28 Mar 1972-31 May 1973 

Captain Marguerite K. Campbell 16 Jul 1973-31 Dec 1974 



Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, 
Atlantic, Camp Elmore, Norfolk, Virginia; activated 1 April 1952; deactivated 15 
April 1977 

SUPERVISOR OF WOMEN 

Second Lieutenant Doris V. Kleberger Nov 1950 

First Lieutenant Joan McCormick Nov 1951 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Second Lieutenant Mary E. Sullivan 1 Apr 1952-25 Jun 1952 

First Lieutenant Natalie Noble 4 Aug 1952-29 May 1953 

Captain Dolores A. Thorning 13 Jun 1953-23 Jan 1955 

Second Lieutenant Rita A. Ciotti 24 Jan 1955-13 Aug 1955 

Second Lieutenant Martha A. Cox 14 Aug 1955-4 Oct 1955 

Captain Margaret A. Brewer 5 Oct 1955-6 Feb 1957 

First Lieutenant Shirley J. Gifford 7 Feb 1957-30 Jun 1958 

First Lieutenant Eleanor H. Bispham 1 Jul 1958-26 Aug 1958 

Captain Margaret R. Pruett 27 Aug 1958-3 Aug I960 

First Lieutenant Valeria M. Dayton 4 Aug 1960-25 May 1962 

Captain Georgia L. Swickheimer 26 May 1962-20 Dec 1965 

First Lieutenant Mary L. Howard 21 Dec 1965-30 Oct 1967 

First Lieutenant Lois J. Bertram 31 Oct 1967-13 Mar 1969 

First Lieutenant Mary J. Stoakes 14 Mar 1969-6 Aug 1970 

First Lieutenant Carolyn K. Bever Wiseman 7 Aug 1970-24 Nov 1971 

First Lieutenant Patricia A. Perkins 25 Nov 1971-13 Feb 1974 

First Lieutenant Mary E. Mitchell 14 Feb 1974-12 Dec 1974 

Captain Kathryn A. Jacob MacKinney 13 Dec 1974-15 Apr 1977 



Company D, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, ac- 
tivated 1 March 1952 

Redesignated Headquarters Company, Women Marines Detachment, Marine Corps Schools, Quan- 
tico, Virginia, 1 May 1959 

Reorganized, Headquarters Company, Woman Officer School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, 
Virginia, 16 April 1965 



220 A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

Redesignated Headquarters Company, Woman Officer School, Marine Corps Development and 
Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, 1 January 1968; decativated 12 June 1973 

OFFICER IN CHARGE, WM BARRACKS 

Second Lieutenant Elaine T. Carville 7 Nov 1950-31 Jan 1951 

First Lieutenant Marion R. Moore 1 Feb 1951-28 Feb 1952 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

First Lieutenant Marion R. Moore 1 Mar 1952-20 Dec 1952 

Second Lieutenant Ruth F. Reinholz 23 Dec 1952-11 Jan 1953 

Captain Bermce M. Pitman 12 Jan 1953-20 Apr 1954 

First Lieutenant Ruth F. Reinholz 21 Apr 1954-30 Apr 1954 

Captain Jeanne Fleming 1 Mar 1954-9 Aug 1954 

First Lieutenant Anne S. Ritter 10 Aug 1954-6 Dec 1955 

First Lieutenant Ellen B. Moroney 7 Dec 1955-19 Nov 1956 

Captain Eileen F. Parker 20 Nov 1956-31 Dec 1956 

Second Lieutenant Marion L. Call 1 Jan 1957-22 Jan 1957 

Captain Virginia A. Hajek 23 Jan 1957-3 Aug 1958 

Second Lieutenant Grace Ann Entriken 6 Aug 1958-7 Sep 1958 

Captain Beverly Schofield Love 8 Sep 1958-31 May I960 

First Lieutenant Shirley N. Arnold 1 Jun 1960-5 Jul I960 

Second Lieutenant Nanette L. Beavers 6 Jul 1960-31 Jul I960 

Captain Jane L. Wallis 1 Aug 1960-11 Aug 1961 

Captain Grace A. Overholser 21 Aug 1961-5 Jun 1962 

Captain Margaret R. Pruett 6 Jun 1962-18 Nov 1962 

First Lieutenant Gail M. Reals 7 Feb 1963-24 Mar 1963 

First Lieutenant Nancy A. Carroll 26 Mar 1963-21 Apr 1964 

First Lieutenant Vea J. Smith 22 Apr 1964-5 Dec 1965 

Captain Jo Anne Kilday 6 Dec 1965-5 Dec 1966 

Captain Vera M. Jones 6 Dec 1966-20 Jan 1967 

First Lieutenant Dolores R. Noguera 21 Jan 1967-7 Aug 1967 

First Lieutenant Ruth D. Walsh 8 Aug 1967-12 Nov 1968 

First Lieutenant Barbara A. Schmidt 13 Nov 1968-30 Nov 1969 

Captain Janice C. Scott 1 Dec 1969-H Oct 1971 

First Lieutenant Sharon F. Daugherty 12 Oct 1971-30 Apr 1973 

Captain Shirley L. Bowen 1 May 1973-11 Jun 1973 



Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit 
Depot, San Diego, California, activated 16 June 1952; deactivated 24 February 1977 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Major Emma H. Clowers 16 Jun 1952-23 Apr 1953 

First Lieutenant Eileen F. Parker 24 Apr 1953-31 May 1953 

Major Helen A. Wilson 1 Jun 1953-2 Jun 1954 

Major Shirley J. Fuetsch 3 Jun 1954-31 Oct 1955 



WOMEN MARINE UNITS, 1946-1977 221 

Captain Donrue Wever 1 Nov 1955-30 Nov 1956 

Captain Mary L Voight 2 Dec 1956-8 Apr 1958 

Second Lieutenant Margaret H, Frank 9 Apr 1958-17 Apr 1958 

First Lieutenant Katherine M. Donohue 18 Apr 1958-12 Jun 1958 

Captain Patricia A. Watson 13 Jun 1958-17 Dec 1959 

Major Theresa M. Hayes 18 Dec 1959-15 Jan 1963 

Captain Marilyn F. Day 16 Jan 1963-8 Feb 1965 

Captain Winifred B. Paul 9 Feb 1965-24 Jul 1965 

Major Barbara J. Lee 26 Jul 1965-26 Dec 1966 

Second Lieutenant Elizabeth A. Wilson 27 Dec 1966-4 Feb 1967 

Captain Gail A. Waugh 5 Feb 1967-7 Aug 1968 

Captain Susan Sommers 13 Aug 1968-29 Aug 1969 

Captain Marie J. Halvorsen 30 Aug 1969-1 Feb 1970 

Captain Lillian Hagener 2 Feb 1970-31 Jul 1971 

Captain Barbara Weinberger 3 Sep 1971-25 Jan 1974 

Captain Eleanor F, Pekala 26 Jan 1974-2 Sep 1975 

First Lieutenant Mary K. P, Lowery 25 Sep 1975-9 May 1976 

First Lieutenant Candice A, Lewis 10 May 1976-24 Feb 1977 



Woman Recruit Training Company, Women Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps 
Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina 

The company was never a reporting unit. What information is recorded here has been gained through 
personal interviews and a review of various records, recruit platoon books, newspaper articles, etc. 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Second Lieutenant Margaret L. Grammer Brown 1 Jan 1952-4 Sep 1952 

First Lieutenant Virginia Caley 11 Oct 1952-31 Jul 1953 

Captain Essie M, Lucas 1 Aug 1953-23 Aug 1954 

Captain Elaine T. Carville 24 Aug 1954-6 Nov 1956 

Captain Theresa M. Hayes 7 Nov 1956-22 Dec 1957 

Captain Mary E, Bane 21 Jan 1958-11 Jun I960 

First Lieutenant Georgia Swickheimer 6 Aug 1960-29 Sep I960 

First Lieutenant Mary A. Johnson 30 Sep 1960-27 Mar 1961 

First Lieutenant Betty L. Leonard 22 Jun 1961-30 Jul 1961 

First Lieutenant Dolores A, Schleichert 31 Jul 1961-29 Apr 1962 

Captain Mary L. Vertalino 30 Apr 1962-24 Jun 1963 

Captain Annie Muriel Trowsdale 25 June 1963-3 Jan 1965 

Captain Vera M. Jones 4 Jan 1965-23 May 1966 

Captain Eleanor Elaine Filkins 8 Jul 1966-5 Apr 1968 

First Lieutenant Suellen A, Beaulieu May 1968 

Captain Joan M. Collins 17 Jul 1969-17 Aug 1971 

Captain Vanda K. Brame 18 Aug 1971-13 Jun 1972 

Major Gail M. Reals 14 Jun 1972-27 Jun 1972 

Captain Carolyn K. Bever Wiseman 28 Jun 1972-11 Sep 1973 

Captain Linda K, Adams Priest 12 Sep 1973-31 Oct 1975 

Captain Nancy A. Davis 1 Nov 1975-June 1977 



222 A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 

Company A, Headquarters and Service Battalion, FMFPac, U.S. Naval Base, Pearl 
Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, activated 24 June 1952 

Redesignated Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, FMFPac, Camp H. 
M. Smith, Oahu, Hawaii, 10 Ju/y 1936; deactivated 12 February 1976 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Second Lieutenant Margaret M. Schafer 24 Jun 1952-22 Dec 1952 

Captain Valeria F. Hilgart 23 Dec 1952-13 Jan 1955 

Captain Virginia Caley 14 Jan 1955-2 Dec 1955 

First Lieutenant Theresa M. Hayes 3 Dec 1955-6 Jan 1956 

Captain Doris V. Kleberger 7 Jan 1956-25 Feb 1957 

Captain Jenny Wrenn 10 Apr 1957-5 Apr 1959 

First Lieutenant Nancy J. Durkin . 6 May 1959-15 Jul 1959 

Captain Ruth J. O'Holleran 16 Jul 1959-30 Oct 1961 

Captain Ellen B. Moroney 2 Nov 1961-18 Nov 1962 

Captain Carol A. Vertalino 19 Nov 1962-1 Feb 1964 

Captain Elaine E. Filkins 2 Feb 1964-14 Dec 1965 

Captain Roberta N. Roberts 15 Dec 1965-30 Dec 1966 

Captain Jeanne A. Botwright 31 Dec 1966-5 Dec 1967 

Captain Judybeth D. Barnett 6 Dec 1967-16 Dec 1970 

First Lieutenant Cheryl S. Gillespie 21 Dec 1970-16 Jun 1972 

Captain Antoinette Meenach 17 Jun 1972-1 May 1974 

Captain Karen S. De Wolf 2 May 1974-12 Feb 1976 



Woman Marine Detachment-3, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, Hawaii, acti- 
vated 2 November 1953; deactivated 1 September 1956 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Phyllis J. Young 2 Nov 1953-2 Oct 1954 

Captain Patricia A. Maas 10 Oct 1954-1 Sep 1956 



Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Supply Center, Bar- 
stow, California; activated 1 July 1967; deactivated August 1971 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

Captain Rebecca M. Kraft 1 Jul 1967-8 Sep 1967 

Captain Joan Hammond 9 Sep 1967-26 Oct 1968 

First Lieutenant Diane L. Hamel 27 Oct 1968-4 Nov 1969 

Captain Alice K. Kurashige 5 Nov 1969-14 May 1970 

First Lieutenant Geraldine E. Peeler 15 May 1970-15 Jul 1970 

First Lieutenant Vanda K. Brame 16 Jul 1970-31 Apr 1971 

First Lieutenant Linda J. Lenhart 7 Jul 1971-31 Jul 1971 



WOMEN MARINE UNITS, 1946-1977 223 

Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Supply Center, Al- 
bany, Georgia, activated 13 September 1967; deactivated August 1971 

COMMANDING OFFICERS 

First Lieutenant Emma G. Ramsey during forming 

Captain Sara R. Beauchamp 13 Sep 1967-5 Jan 1969 

Captain Mary S. League 6 Jan 1969-20 Mar 1970 

Captain Bonnie J. Allman May 1970-May 1971 



Appendix E 

Women Marines Who Served in Vietnam 

1967-1973 



First Lieutenant Lois J. Bertram 
Captain Elaine E. Filkins (Davies) 
Captain Vera M. Jones 
CWO-2 Ernestine A. Koch 



Officers 



First Lieutenant Shirley E. Leaverton 
Lieutenant Colonel Ruth J. O'Holleran 
Lieutenant Colonel Ruth F. Reinholz 
First Lieutenant Lila Jean Sharpsteen 



Enlisted Women 



Sergeant Barbara J. Aaron (Avant) 

Staff Sergeant Bridget V. Connolly 

Sergeant Doris L. Denton 

Staff Sergeant Adelina Diaz (Torres) 

Lance Corporal Teresa A. Dickerson 

Corporal Marilyn L. Dorsey 

Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky 

Corporal Andrea L. Edwards 

Corporal Jeanne L. Francoeur (Bell) 

Corporal M. R. Gehant 

Sergeant Mary E. Glaudel 

Staff Sergeant Frances I. Gonzales (Shore) 

Staff Sergeant Donna L. Hollowell (Murray) 

Corporal Alaine K. Ivy 



Sergeant Carol E. Lester 

Lance Corporal Jeanette I. Hensley 

Corporal Nellie Mach (Perkins) 

Corporal M. Del Martinez 

Corporal Nola E. Mackinster 

Staff Sergeant Loretta M. Morrison 

Sergeant Ella L. Netherton 

Corporal Diane L. Potter 

Sergeant Jacqueline K. Roach 

Staff Sergeant Ermelinda Salazar (Esquibel) 

Corporal Sandra Spaatz 

Sergeant Helen J. Varden 

Sergeant Mary P. Walsh (McDermott) 

Corporal Pauline W. Wilson 



225 



Appendix F 

Enlisted Women Marines Retained 

After World War II Who Served 

Until Retirement 



List provided by Master Sergeant Annette Parziale. She titles it, "Chronological listing of continuous 
active duty retirees fortunate enough to be in the right place, at the right time, and holding the right 
SSN number to be retained after WW II" (MSgt Parziale ltr to Hist&MusDiv, WM Research file). 

Catherine G. Murray E-7 29Mar43-30Nov62 

Geraldine M. Moran E-9 22Feb43-3lMar63 

Ruth M. Haungs E-7 25jun43-3lMar63 

Annette Parziale E-7 2Jul43-3lMar63 

Bertha J. Schultz E-8 290ct43-31Jul63 

Helen Gardner Redmond E-6 25Mar43-25Dec63 

Myrtle Butler Borg Stinson E-7 2lSep43-31Jan64 

Bettye R. Hollis E-7 80ct43-29Feb64 

Beatrice M. Kent E-6 9May44-3lMar64 

Martha E. Kirchman E-7 6Apr44-3lMay64 

Lucy Cozzi E-7 20Feb45-30Sep64 

Marion O. Ahearn E-8 9Nov43-3lOct64 

Dorthea E. Hard E-6 26May44-3lOct64 

Esther D. Waclawski E-8 10Ocr44-30Nov64 

Alice J. Connolly E-8 9Jun43-28Feb65 

Juel C. Pensock E-7 15Nov43-6May66 

Elizabeth Pinter E-8 20Sep43-31May66 

Dorothy L. Kearns E-7 l60ct44-3lMay66 

Betty J. Alley E-6 18jun45-31jan67 

Jessie L. Van Dyke E-9 6May43-31Jul68 

Anna Peregrim E-8 lFeb45-22Aug68 

Martha J. Clark E-8 lMar45-3lAug69 

Vera E. Piippo E-8 17jul43-30Sep69 

Catherine L. Quinlan E-9 l6Oct43-30Sep69 

Margaret H. Crowd E-8 18May45-3lMay70 

Loraine G. Bruso E-8 15Dec43-31Jan71 

Elizabeth M. Tarte E-8 lOct43-23Nov71 

Bertha Peters Billeb E-9 5Mar43-30Apr73 

June V. Andler E-9 9Mar44-30Apr74 

Sarah N. Thornton E-9 llDec43-31Jul74 

227 



Index 



A-4 Skyhawk power plant; illus., 95 

Abies, Maj Charles K., 100 

Abies, Maj Kathleen V., 99-100; illus., 99 

Acting Secretary of the Navy, 174 

Active Duty for Training, 43-44, 101-102, 105-106, 

\lln 
Adam, TSgt Dolores M., 7 
Adams, SSgt Carmen, 81; illus., 75 
Adams, Pvt Norma, 48 
Ad-Hoc Committee on Increased Effectiveness in the 

Utilization of Women in the Marine Corps (See 

Snell Committee) 
Ad Hoc Committee to Study Reserve Training for 

Women Marines (See Pepper Board) 
Administration /Gymnasium Building 914, MCRD, 

Parris Island, South Carolina, 28 
Administration of women's affairs, 18, 24 
Administrative discharge, 144, 151, 153 
Advanced Communication Officer Course, 93 
Aerial Surveillance Officer Course, Fort Holabird, 

Maryland, 74 
Aerological School Training Unit, NAS, Lakehurst, 

New Jersey, 182 
Air Force Attache, Santo Domingo, 173 
Air Force Reserve, 18 
AFSE, Naples, Italy, 88 

Air Traffic Control Officers Course, NAS, Glynco, Ge- 
orgia, 74 
Airmen's Open Mess, Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan, 

83 
Albert, PFC Dennis M., 79 
Albert, PFC Donna L., 79 

Albert, SgtMaj Evelyn E., 80, 181-184; illus., 182 
Albertson, Capt Eileen M., 92-93; illus., 93 
Alexander, Sgt Judith A., 97 
Allegree, 2dLt Patricia A., 74 
Allgood, Cpl Doris, 52 
All-volunteer force, 89-90 
Almon, SSgt Lucille, 42 
Almonte, GySgt Virginia, 78 
Ambrose, SSgt Joan S., 173 
American Nazi Party, 99 
American Spirit Honor Medal, 121 
Ames, TSgt Barbara A., 28 



Amphibious Warfare School, 34, 36, 73-74, 76, 107 

Anderson, Gen Earl E., 99 

Anderson, IstLt Fern D., 42 

Anderson, IstLt Marie K., 12n 

Anderson, Sgt Norine, 60 

Anderson, 2dLt Sara J., 37 

Anderson, Cpl Shirley, 52 

Andler, SgtMaj June V. , 25, 28, 161, 182, 185-186; 
illus., 161, 185 

Andlott, Cpl Mary J., 82 

Anniversary of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, 
8; illus., 13 

Anniversary of the Women Marines, 67, 83, 85, 
174-177; illus., 174-177 

Appointments, 3, 5, 17, 21-23, 36 (See also Pro- 
motions) 

Appropriations, 12, 22, 39, 104, 106, 125-126 

Arcure, SSgt Mary K., 50 

Arden, Elizabeth, 167 

Arlington, Virginia, 26, 170 

Armed Forces Day, 43, 101 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, 174; illus., 1,73 

Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946, 6 

Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, 77 

Armed Forces Television Station, Saigon, Vietnam, 85 

Armed Services Exchange Regulations, 155 

Armitage, Maj Gerald T. , 30 

Armstrong, BGen Harry G., 17 

Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, 107 

Army I Corps, 85 

Army Officer Candidates School, Fort Benning, Ge- 
orgia, 134 

Arnby, SgtMaj John W., 81 

Arney, IstLt Kathleen J., 23, 28 

Artz, SSgt Muriel V., 50; illus., 51 

Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manpower and Reserve 
Affairs, 150 

Assistant to the Commandant for Woman Marine 
Matters (See Director of Women Marines) 

Atau, LCpl A. Digman; illus., 70 

Atlanta, Georgia, 11, 39, 65 

Atlantic Ocean, 169 

Attaya, Sgt Mary L., 40 

Austin, Capt Robin L., 135-136 

229 



230 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Automotive Mechanics School, MCB, Camp Lejeune, 
North Carolina, 94 

Aviation Radar Repair Course, (See Communications- 
Electronic School) 

Aviation Women's Reserve Group 1, MCAS, Cherry 
Point, North Carolina, 189 

Aviation Women's Squadron 21, Quantico, Virginia, 
191-192 

Awards, 79n y S2n 86-87, 120-123, 129, 169-174, 
186-193; illus., 10, 84, 121-122 



Babcock, TSgt Margaret, 162 

Bach, 2dLt Eleanor M., 36; illus., 34 

Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), 84-85, 139 

Bachelor Officers' Quarters (BOQ), 36, 81, 84-85, 

125, 129, 155 
Baird, Ralph A. (See Acting Secretary of the Navy) 
Baker, PFC Brenda; illus., 176 
Baker, Maj Charles E., 71 
Baker, LCpl Virginia E., 82 
Ballard, LtCol George J., 138 
Baltimore, Maryland, 10, 103, 113 
Baltimore Signal Depot, Fort Holabird, Maryland, 60 
Bandsmen, 94-95 

Bane, Col Mary E., 77, 98-100, 160 
Bantzhaff, OC Joan G.; illus., 126 
Barnes, TSgt Marion O., 25 
Barnes, SSgt Rose M., 25 
Barnett, Capt Judybeth D., 76 
Barnwell, SSgt Barbara O., 169-70; illus., 170 
Barracks 60, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 48 
Barracks 63, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 48 
Barracks 65, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 66 
Barracks 182, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, 

California, 79 
Barracks 901, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 

53 
Barracks 902, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 

28, 30 
Barracks 903, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 

124 
Barracks 914, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 

123 
Barracks 3076, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 34, 125 
Barracks 3091, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
Barracks 3094, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
Barracks 7103, Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, 

Georgia, 79 



Base Materiel Battalion, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North 
Carolina, 138 

Base Materiel Battalion, MCB, Camp Pendleton, 
California; illus., 94 

Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), 155 

Basic Class 3-77, 134-136 

Basic Electronic Course (See Communications- 
Electronic School) 

Basic Music School, NAB, Little Creek, Norfolk, Vir- 
ginia, 95 

Basic School Landing Exercise, 136 

Basic Supply School, 72 

Baughman, IstLt Debra J., 91; illus., 92 

Beach and Port Operations Company, Headquarters 
and Service Battalion, 4th FSSG, FMF, USMCR, 
San Jose, California, 107 

Bean, IstLt Annie V., 39 

Beauchamp, Capt Sara R., 74, 79 

Beaufort, South Carolina, 31-32, 114 

Beavers, Mrs. Leola A.; illus., 154 

Beavers, Maj Nannette I,; illus., 154 

Beck, LCpl Linda C, 82 

Beckley, LtCol Pauline B., 23, 46-47, 53, 109; illus., 
58, 147 

Belanger, 2dLt Linda L., 136 

Belcher, PFC Henrietta L., 52 

Belletto, SSgt Mary S., 67 

Benjamin, TSgt Grace L.; illus., 13 

Benn, Col Hazel E., 64, 148, 169; illus., 170 

Bennett, Pvt Nancy L., 57 

Bennke, MSgt Julia L., 42 

Benson, 2dLt Christine A., 136 

Benziger, MSgt Marie B.; illus., 13 

Berkeley, California, 5, 21, 34, 187, 189*z 

Berkley, School, New York, New York, 183 

Bien Hoa, Vietnam, 83 

Bierlein, IstLt Ardath, 42 

Billeb, CWO Bertha P., 25, 177, 181-182, 191; il- 
lus., 24, 181 

Billeb, GySgt William N., 182 

Billet Assignments, 3-4,6, 12, 21,23, 27, 34,41-43, 
48-53, 57, 62-69, 72, 77-83, 87-88, 91-100, 106, 
109, 118, 133, 137, 146, 148-150, 155-156, 177, 
182-195 

Billeting, 6, 11, 18, 26, 28-31, 33-34, 36, 46-52, 
53-55, 57, 66, 68-69, 71-72, 78-79, 81, 83-85, 
90-91, 97-100, 110, 112-116, 123-126, 131, 
137-139, 141-144; illus., 142-143 

Billings Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Saigon, Vietnam, 
84-85 



INDEX 



231 



Bills 

H.R 5919, 4 

S. 1529, 16 

S. 1103, 16 

S. 1641, 16-17 
Bilskf, IstSgt Frances A., 65-66 

Bishop, Col BarbaraJ., 23, 64, 69-71, 73-74, 76-80, 
83, 85, 88, 94, 110, 117, 146-148, 151, 160, 166, 
168, 178, 191-192; illus., 58, 161, 191 

Black, Cpl R. F., 50 

Black Women Marines, 31-33 

Blacks in the Marine Corps, 32n 

Blaha, 2dLt Patricia P., 136 

Blair, Cpl Susan W., 82 

Blessing, Sgt Alameda, 42 

Bloomsburg State College, Bloomsburg, Pennsylva- 
nia, 93 

Blue Book (See Combined Lineal List of Officers on 
Active Duty) 

Board of Corrections of Naval Records, 37 

Boberg, PFC Inga, 48 

Boerner, SSgt Margaret E., 52 

Boot Camp, 48, 57,63, 109, 113, 123, 167 {See also 
Recruit Training) 

Boston, Massachusetts, 8-10, 39-41, 47-48, 51, 59«, 

65, 102, 180, 191 
Botwright, Capt Jeanne B. (See Humphrey, Maj 

Jeanne B.) 
Bouker, MajGen John G., 82«, 83 
Bowe, Cpl Sharon L., 82 
Bowen, Capt Shirley L., 93 
Bowlin, GySgt Gail A., 95 
Boyd, IstSgt Charlie L., 138 
Bradek, LCpl Barbara L, 79 
Bradley, Gen Omar N., 17 

Brame, Capt Vanda K. (See Bresnan, Capt Vanda K.) 
Breckenridge Hall, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
Bresnan, Capt Vanda K., 79, 79#, 171; illus., 171 
Brevet system, 148-149 
Brewer, BGen Margaret A., 54, 89, 95, 101, 139, 176, 

193-195; illus., 103, 131, 194 
Brigotti, Capt Elena D,; illus., 58 
Brink, IstLt Eunyce L., 23, 33-34 
Broe, Col Ruth H., 148 
Bronze Star Medal, 169, 172 
Brooklyn, New York, 104; illus., 103 
Brown LCpl Brenda R., 82 

Brown Field, Camp Barrett, Quantico, Virginia, 132 
Brown, Cpl Lillian, 52 
Brusack, GySgt Helen A., 10, 60 



Bruso, TSgt Loraine G., 67 

Bryant, LCpl Suzanne, 79 

Budge, Louise, 180 

Bungcayo, Cpl Mary F., 91 

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, 153-154 

Bureau of the Budget, 39 

Burger, Col J. C; illus., 34 

Burger, LCpl Maryann, 81 

Burke, Sgt J. S.; illus., 94 

Burkland, SSgt Annette, 48 

Burns, 2dLt Mary S., 96 

Brynes, OC Jean M.; illus., 126 



C-9B Skytrain, 94 

Calender, 2dLt Nedra C, 37 

Cameron, Texas, 190 

Camp Barrett, Quantico, Virginia, 125, 130, (See also 
The Basic School) 

Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan 79-80, 88 

Camp Fuji, Okinawa, Japan, 83 

Camp H. M. Smith, Oahu, Hawaii, 53, 88, 184-185 

Camp Smedley D. Butler Law Center, Okinawa, 
Japan; illus., 93 

Campbell, GySgt Helen H., 178 

Capitol Hill, 15 

Carey, Cpl Joan A., 81 

Carle, SgtMaj Grace A., Ill, 182, 186; illus., 185-186 

Carlson, Cpl Maxine H., 49 

Carlson, LCpl Priscilla, 59# 

Carnegie, Hattie, 162 

Carpenter, Capt Bernice V., 103 

Carrera, Pvt Jo, 48 

Carrillo, LCpl Victoria, 97-98 

Carroll, OC Nancy A.; illus., 130 

Carville, LtCol Elaine T., 36-37, 42-43, 45, 50-51, 67; 
illus., 66-68, 174 

Casual Company, Headquarters and Service Battal- 
ion, MCRD, San Diego, California, 100 

Cataldo, 2dLt Judith A., 92 

Cates, Gen Clifton B., 21, 23, 161-162, 175, 182, 
187; illus., 22, 24 

Cathcart, Cpl Helen C, 34 

Catholic University, Washington, D.C., 75 

"Cattle car"; illus., 131 

Centerville, Illinois, 184 

"Certainly Red" (lipstick), 167 

Certificate of Commendation, 82# 

Cessna, PFC Daryl R., 79 

Chadwick, BGen Robert J., 172; illus., 172 



232 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Chaffer, IstLt Elva B., 39 

Chambers, Maj Helen T., 40 

Champlin, 2dLt Anna F., 36; illus., 34 

Chance, PFC Jessie, 60 

Chapman, Gen Leonard F. Jr., 80, 192; illus., 177 

Chapman, Cpl Olive G. , 52 

"Charlie's Angels" {See Company C, The Basic School) 

Chicago, Illinois, 11, 32, 39, 42, 46, 102 

Chief of Naval Operations, 16-17, 89 

Chief of Naval Personnel, 3-4, 17 

Childers, TSgt Eleanor L., 67 

Christopher, LCpl Christina M., 79 

Cinder City BOQ, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 

Ciotti, IstLt Rita A.; illus., 58 

Citizen Committee of the Army, Navy and Air Force, 
121 

Civil Service, 13, 72 

Clark Ila, 180 

Clark, Pvtjay C, 94 

Clark, SSgt Martha J., 49 

Class 9, NCO Leadership School, MCB, Camp 
Lejeune, North Carolina; illus., 67 

Clement, BGen William T., 12 

Clements, LtCol F.D.; illus., 73 

Clements, PFC Mary H., 52 

Clerk Typist School, MCRD, Parris Island, South 
Carolina, 109 

Cleveland, Ohio, 103, 180 

Clowers,LtColEmmaH.,8, 23, 25,49, 64, 125-126, 
155-156; illus., 64 

Collins, Maj Joan M., 76, 113, 140; illus., 152 

Collins, MajGen W. R., 10-11 

Combat, 7, 15, 18, 50, 59, 62, 78, 83, 85, 95, 97-98, 
101, 106, 118, 133-134, 148, 155, 164, 172 

Combat Action Ribbon; illus., 173-174 

Combat Engineer School, 97 

Combined Lineal List of Officers on Active Duty, 145 

Command and Staff College, 34, 70-73, 76-77, 107 

Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), 3-4, 6-7, 
12, 15-18, 21, 23-25, 31, 69, 71-73, 76-78, 88, 
90-91, 93, 95, 98, 106, 130, 132, 134, 137, 146, 
148-150, 161-162, 166, 168-169, 174-176, 180, 
187, 189, 192, 195; illus., 5, 22, 24, 177, 188 

Commander in Chief, 146 

Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Eu- 
rope, Naples Italy, 160, 183, 190, 192 

Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces, Europe, 173 

Commander, Naval Forces, Vietnam, 83, 172 

Commanding Officer's Trophy, 102 

Commissioned Officers Mess, MCB, Camp Pendleton, 
California, 194 



Committee on Naval Affairs, 15 

Communication Officers Orientation Course, MCS, 
Quantico, Virginia, 74, 194 

Communications-Electronic School, MCRD, San Die- 
go, California, 59« 

Communications Electronics School, MCB, Twenty- 
nine Palms, California, 186 

Company A, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 
FMFPac, U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Habor, Oahu, 
Hawaii, 52-53, 60, 149, 182 

Company B, Headquarters Battalion, MCDEC, Quan- 
tico, Virginia, 131 

Company B, Headquarters Battalion, MCS, Quanti- 
co, Virginia, 98 

Company B, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Beirut, 
Lebanon, 87 

Company B, 2d Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 10 {See 
also Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot) 

Company C, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Mani- 
la, Philippines, 87 

Company C, The Basic School, Camp Barrett, Quan- 
tico, Virginia, 135-136 

Company D, Headquarters Battalion, MCS, Quanti- 
co, Virginia, 125 

Company D, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Pana- 
ma Canal Zone, 87 

Company E, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters 
Marine Corps, Henderson Hall, Arlington, Vir- 
ginia, 6, 12«, 46, 149 

Company L, The Basic School, Camp Barrett, Quan- 
tico, Virginia, 132 

Company W., Officer Candidates School, Quantico, 
Virginia, 131 

Condon, Col Mary L., 43, 148 

Conference of Women Marine Commanding Officers 
and Women Representatives of Marine Corps 
Reserve and Recruitment Districts; illus., 58 

Congress, 6, 15-17, 78, 145-146, 153, 187 

Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 8 

Congressional Liaison Officer to the Senate, 192 

Conley, Cpl Sue; illus., 96 

Connell, IstLt Mary J., 66-67 

Connolly, SgtMaj Alice J., 25, 33#, 51; illus., 51 

Connolly, MSgt Bridget V., 83, 112, 120 

Cook, BGen John B., 175 

Cook, Mrs. John B., 175 

Cook, Col John H., 68 

Cooke, IstLt Mildred N., 39 

Cookson, SSgt Mary S., 34 

Cooper, PFC Margaret, 48 



INDEX 



233 



Correll, LCpl Donna L., 79, 94 

Cottingham, Sgt Karen; illus., 91 

Court-martial, 144 

Court of Military Appeals, 76 

Coy, Maj Betty F., 103 

Coy, LCpl Judith C, 139 

Craddock, SgtMaj Ouida W., 42, 79, 146, 181, 184; 

illus., 183 
Criminal Investigation Course, Camp Gordon, 
Georgia, 185 

Crites, Capt Rosalie; illus., 58 
Crosby, Cpl San, 81 
Crowell, SSgt Margaret H., 49 
Curtiss, SSgt Phyllis J., 48, 67 
Curwen, GySgt Frances A., 40, 66; illus., 65, 113 {See 

also Bilski, IstLt Frances A.) 
Cushman, Gen Robert E. Jr., 90, 95, 98, 130, 161, 

175-176, 180 



Daily, SgtMaj Joseph W., 149 

Dale, Cpl Anita F., 52 

Dallas, Texas, 11, 43, 103, 105 

DaNang, Vietnam, 85 

Davenport, IstLt Judith, 76 

Davies, LtCol Elaine E., 76, 84-85; illus., 82 

Davis, Honorable James V., 79 

Davis, IstSgt Josephine G., 173-174; illus., 173 

Davis, 2dLt Phyllis, 42 

Davis, LCpl Suzanne, 81 

Dawson, 2dLt Dorothy, 48 

Day, IstLt Ben A., 10, 23, 40, {See also Munn, LtCol 

Ben A.) 
Day, 2dLt Diana C, 136 
Day, LCpl William; illus., 90 
Deactivation of WM companies, 138-139 
Deactivation of WM Organized Reserve platoons, 

104-105 
Dean, Col Clyde D., 132 
Deberry, 2dLtJoAnn, 74 
Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the 

Armed Services, 195 
DeGarmo, Charlotte; illus., 41 
Dehart, Sgt Connie, 94 
Delaney, Cpl Anna M., 34 
Deleskiewicz, LCpl Sue, 94; illus., 96 
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), 83 
Demobilization, 3, 5-6, 11-12, 16, 183-184, 187, 192 
Denbo, IstLt Frances A., 23 
Denfeld, VAdm Louis E., 3-4, 15-16 



Dennis, MSgt Laura J., v 

Denton, Sgt Doris; illus., 82, 87 

Denver, Colorado, 104, 180 

Department of Defense, 16, 19, 53, 70, 72, 121, 142, 

151, 153, 164 
Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, California, 

17, 26-27, 42, 46-48, 62; illus., 45 
Department of the Air Force, 17 
Department of the Army, 17 
Department of the Navy, 17 
Dependents of servicewomen, 18, 21, 71, 141, 

151-156, 193 
Depot Development Board, MCRD, Parris Island, 

South Carolina, 124 
Depot of Supplies, San Francisco, California, 17, 48, 

62, 184 
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 78 
Deputy Director of Women Marines, 72, 148, 192-194 
Deputy Surgeon General, 17 
Derrick, SgtMaj Doris, 149 
Designation of Women Marines, 27 
Detroit, Michigan, 10, 31, 43, 54, 102; illus., 44 
Devers, Gen Jacob L., 17 
Devlin, 2dLt Mary A., 136 
Dewaele, PFC Linda A., 79 
Dickey, SSgt Leona, 42 
Dietz, Col Dorothy R., 8, 148 
Dignan, 2dLt June M., 136 
Diliberto, Capt Carol A., 76; illus., 74 
Dill, Sgt Margaret, 163 
Director, Marine Corps Women Reserves, 1 {See also 

Director, Marine Corps Women's Reserve) 
Director, Marine Corps Women's Reserve, v, 3-7, 21, 

23-24, 175, 187, 189-190, 195 {See also Director 

of Women Marines) 
Director of Women Marines, v, 13, 18, 21, 23-25, 27, 

34, 54, 62, 65, 69-73, 76, 78, 81, 85, 88-89, 95, 

101, 104, 115, 117-118, 137, 139-141, 145-148, 

150-152, 158, 160, 162, 164, 166-170, 175-176, 

177», 178, 180-181, 187-195; illus., 24, 52, 61, 

138, 146-147, 161, 170-171, 177, 187-191, 

193-194 
Director of Women Marines Study No. 1-64, 71, 78 
Director, Women's Army Corps, 76, 145 
Discharge of WRs, 3, 8, 11, 15, 23 
Distinguished Flying Cross, 169 
Dixon, PFC Katie J., 94, 139; illus., 95 
Doberstein, TSgt June V., 67 
Dobson, Col Charles E.; illus., 149 
Doctor of Laws, 188 
Doize, Capt Elizabeth D., 107 



234 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Dolence, MSgt Lillian V., 66 

"Dolly Company", 137 

Dolyak, LtCol Barbara E., 89-90, 132-134 

Dominican Republic, 173-174 

Donnelly, Ralph W., 32« 

Doolittle, Ila (See Clark, Ila) 

Dooner, IstLt Genevieve M., 42 

Doser, IstLt Nancy L,; illus., 58 

Dougherty, Capt Margaret E.; illus., 58 

Douglas, LCpl Marsha A., 96 

Dowd, GySgt Helen A., 82, 86 

Dowler, 2dLt Essie M., 36, 52; illus., 34 

Draughon, SSgtJack W., 30-31 

Dress Blue Uniform Award, 121-123; illus., 122 

Drew, PFC Elizabeth, 60 

Drill Instructor School, MCRD, Parris Island, South 

Carolina, 116, 118 
Drill instructors (D.I.s), 30, 63, 101, 107, 109, 

112-121, 123, 184-185; illus., 118-119, 128 
Drill pay, 39-40, 105 
Drum and Bugle Team, MB, Treasure Island, San 

Francisco, California, 94; illus., 96 
Drummond, LtCol John F., 94 
Dubinsky, IstLt Dolores L., 39 
Dugan, LtCol James, 40 
Dulinsky, MSgt Barbara J., 52, 60, 83-85, 160 
Duncan, Sgt Donna K., 81 
Dupont Corporation, 164 
Dupont, Capt Mildred, 8 
Dupuy, Cpl Joyce R., 52 
Durand, Michigan, 193 
Durant, IstLt Regina M., 6, 12« 
Durfee, Maj Jean, 180 



Eastman, PFC Dorothy P., 52 

Education Center, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 33-34, 

63 
80th Congress, 16, 22, 31 
Eisenhower, Gen Dwight D., 16-17 
Eitel, GySgt Elizabeth A., 95; illus., 97 
Elms, Maj Harry D., 159, 162 
Elrod, Capt Elizabeth J., 12» 
Embassy duty (See Marine Security Guard Battalion) 
Enlisted transfer program, 23, 26-27, 182 
Enlistments, 7, 17, 21-25, 31, 40, 43, 63, 72, 74, 90, 

95, 105-106, 140, 151, 182-186 (See also Reen- 

listments) 
Equal opportunity /affirmative action plans, 89-91 
Esposito, LtCol Robert J., 93 



Esprit de corps, 8, 27, 42, 107, 109, 133, 139, 176 

Esquibel, SSgt Ermelinda, 86-87; illus., 84 

Europe, 62», 88, 172-173, 183, 192 

Evans, Sgt Rosalie C, 34 

Evans, Sgt Ruby A., 25 

Eveland, PFC Martha, 94; illus., 96 

Extended active duty, 42-43, 46, 53-54 

Exum, IstLt Frances M., 39, 42 



F8 link trainer; illus., 70 

Fairbanks, Alaska, 46 

Fagan, Pvt Nita L., 48 

Family Assistance Program, 64 

Fargo Building, Boston, Massachusetts (See Navy 

Building-Marine Corps Reserve Armory) 
Fegan, LtGen Joseph C. Jr., 132, 134 
Field night, 114-115, 137 
Fields, Capt Grace "San" O., 18w 
Fields, MajGen Lewis J., 71 
Figueroa, SSgt Elnora T., 95 
Filkins, Capt Elaine E., (See Davies, LtCol Elaine E.) 
Finnigan, SSgt Anna M., 67 
Fiocca, OC Helen L.; illus., 126 
1st Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, USMCR, 

Fort Schuyler, New York, 169 
1st Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 10 
1st Marine Corps Reserve District Headquarters, 8, 41 
1st Marine Division, FMF, MCB, Camp Pendleton, 

California, 95-98 
First Sergeants School, 148 
Fischer, MSgt D. W., 107 
Fisher, GySgt Frances J., 81 
Fisher, Capt Mary J., 23, 28, 48 
Fleet Home Town News Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, 

72 
Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, 140 
Fleet Marine Force, 62-63, 68-69, 79, 90, 93-98, 

104-105, 133-134, 136 
Fleming, Capt Jeanne, 23, 98; illus., 58 
Flight Jacket, 50 
Flynn, 2dLt Colleen M., 136 
Foley, SSgt Michelle, 95 
Ford, IstSgt K.L., 81; illus., 75 
Formal training, 57-63, 68-74, 76-78, 89, 92-95, 97, 

101, 107, 116, 118, 126-127, 132, 144, 182, 

184-185, 188, 192 
Former WRs, 7-8, 11, 21, 34, 36, 40, 46, 65, 91, 180 
Forrestal, James V. (See Secretary of the Navy) 
Fort Lee, Virginia, 74 



INDEX 



235 



Fort Schuyler, New York, 42, 102 

.45 caliber pistol, 119 

14th Signal Company, USMCR, 10 

14th U.S. Army Band, 145 

4th Force Service Support Group, FMF, USMCR, 107 

4th Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF, USMCR, 106 

4th Marine Division (Rein), FMF, USMCR, 106 

Fox, Sgt Carol, 139 

Fox, Cpl Leona M., 46 

Fraser, PFC Beth A., 107 

Frazer, IstLt Mary W., 39 

Frazier, 2dLt Catherine L., 37 

Frazier, Cpl Kay, 139 

Freeman, Sgt Carolyn J., 67 

Freeman, CWO Elaine G., 74, 145 

Freeman, Rachel; illus., 41 

Frisbie, BGen Jack M., 107 

Fritts, IstLt Ethel D., 43 

Frontiero vs Richardson, 156 

Fuetsch, Maj Shirley J., 39, 42; illus., 58 

Futterman, Sgt Elsie F.; illus., 13 



G.I. Bill, 1 

Gaffney, IstLt Esther N., 42 

Gallo, Col James A. Jr., 82 

Galveston, Texas, 180 

Gannon, Maj Mildred D., 42, 102 

Garden party, 115 

Garrett, 2dLt Robin C, 136 

Gebers, SSgt Josephine S. (See Davis, IstSgt Josephine 

Geiger Hall, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
General Office Procedures Course, MCRD, Parris Is- 
land, South Carolina, 110-111 
George, IstLt Dian S., 93, 96 
George, SSgt Nellie C, 67 
Gibbs, Sgt Mary E., 118 
Gibson, Edmund A., 47 
Gibson, TSgt Josephine R., 47 
Gillespie, Pvt Mary E., 121 
Gillespie, 2dLt Megan A., 136 
Girl Marine Veterans, 180 
Globe and Anchor (See Marine Corps Emblem) 
Goings, MSgt Margaret A., 25, 59#, 66; illus., 24 
Gonzales, GySgt Frances L., 100, 153 
Gonzales, LCpl Virginia, 79 
Good, MajGen George F. Jr., 68 
Goodrich, Cpl Victoria, 118 
Gormley, Capt Patricia M., 75-76, 92; illus., 73 



Graham, Maj Adele; illus., 166 

Graham, Pvt Annie E., 31-32 (See also Black Wom- 
en Marines) 

Graham, BGen Paul, 99 

Graham, Capt Vernon C, 138 

Grande, TSgt Mary E., 52 

Grant, Capt Karen G., 76 

Graves Hall, Camp Barrett, Quantico, Virginia, 131 

Greathouse, Maj Evelyn J., 102 

Green, Sgt Sonya A., 67 

Greene, LCpl Kimberly, 98 

Greene, 2dLt Marcella J.; illus., 159 

Greene, Gen Wallace M.Jr., 69, 72#, 72-73, 76, 80#, 
88, 146, 174-175, 183 

Greifenstein, SSgt Wilma, 25 

Gridley, LtCol Lily H., 63-64, 75, 182 

Griffith, LtColJoe B. Jr., 105; illus., 105 

Grimes, CWO Annie L. , 32; illus. ,32, (See also Black 
Women Marines) 

Groht, Cpl Marjorie W., 79, 94 

Gruetzemacher, SSgt M. M.; illus., 120 

Guenther, SSgt Betty, 42 

Guidon, 120; illus., 120-121 

Guyman, Cpl Suzanne T. , 82 



Haasarud, Capt Florence I., 103 

Hagener, Cpl Lillian, 118 

Hair styles, 31, 158, 167 

Hajek, IstLt Virginia A., 104 

Hale, LtCol MaryJ., 6-7, 12#, 23, 26, 28, 30-31, 39, 
43, 53; illus., 22 

Halla, Col John, 11 

Hallaway, PFC Naomi M., 52 

Hamblet, Col Julia E., v, 3», 5-7, 10-12, 15-18, 21, 
23-24, 26, 39, 48, 52, 62, 67, 76#, 104, 106#, 115, 
129, 137, 140, 145-148, 151, 160, 175, 188-190, 
195; illus., 9, 22, 58, 61, 147, 170, 188-189 

Hamel, IstLt Diane L., 79 

Hemel, Col Lester S., 22 

Hamman, 2dLt Joyce M., 49 

Hammond, Capt Joan M., 79 

Hancock, Capt Joy, 15 

Hanley, 2dLt Gayle W., 136 

Hannah, TSgt Helen L., 13 

Hansen, June F., 180 

Hard, SSgt Dorothea E., 50 

Hardy, Pvt Joy, 48 

Harper, PFC Beatrice I., 52 

Harper, Maj Sara J., 93 



236 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Harrington, SgtMaj Rosa V., 29, 44, 146 
Harris, Cpl J., illus., 70 
Harry Lee Hall, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 129 
Hart, MajGen Franklin A., 47 
Hartley, CWO Lillian, 145; illus., 146 
Harwell, TSgt Margaret L., 67 
Haskell, Oklahoma, 184 
Haughery, Margaret, 178 

Hawaii, 7, 52-53, 60, 65, 88, 95, 161, 180, 184-186, 
190, 192 

Hayes, GySgt Carol, 95 

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS, 

Cherry Point, North Carolina, 100 
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS, El 

Toro, California, 100 

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS, 

Futema, Okinawa, Japan, 81 
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS, 

Iwakuni, Japan, 81 
Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron-32, 

MAG-32, 94; illus., 95 
Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCB, Camp 

Lejeune, North Carolina, 59» 

Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCB, Camp Pen- 
dleton, California, 98-99 

Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCRD, San Die- 
go, California, 186 

Headquarters and Service Company, Base Materiel 
Battalion, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 
138 

Headquarters and Service Company, Supply Battal- 
ion, 4th FSSG, FMF, USMCR, Newport News, Vir- 
ginia, 93 

Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, 
Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, 25-26 

Headquarters Battalion, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North 
Carolina, 68 

Headquarters Battalion, MCDEC, Quantico, Virginia, 
130 

Headquarters Battalion, MSC, Quantico, Virginia, 51, 
125 {See also Headquarters Battalion, MCDEC) 

Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, FMFLant, Camp Elmore, Norfolk, Vir- 
ginia, 52 

Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, FMFPac, Camp H. M. Smith, Oahu, 
Hawaii, 52 

Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, MCB, Twentynine Palms, California, 
100 



Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 
28, 124 
Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service 
Battalion, MCRD, San Diego, California, 48-49 
Headquarters Company, Headquarters Battalion, Ma- 
rine Barracks, Camp Pendleton, California, 48 
Headquarters Company, Women Marines Detach- 
ment, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
Headquarters, EUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany, 62, 88 
Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic (FMFLant), 

Norfolk, Virginia, 52, 54, 62, 138; illus., 54 
Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPac), 
Oahu, Hawaii, 52, 62, 97, 150, 184, 190, 192; il- 
lus., 74 
Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), 1, 4-8, 12-13, 
15, 17-18, 21, 25-26, 28, 31, 39, 43, 49, 57, 59, 
62, 67, 69-72, 75-77, 89-90, 118, 140, 145, 
147-148, 152-153, 164, 167-168, 171, 174-175, 
181-187, 191-195; illus., 63-64 
Classification and Assignment Branch, 60, 72, 117 
Data Processing Division, 184 
Decorations and Medals Section, 12 
Division of Aviation, 12«, 59, 61, 71, 182, 192 
Division of Information, 148, 194 
Division of Plans and Policies, 1, 4, 23, 39, 53, 57, 
164, 191 

Women's Affairs Section, 191 
Division of Recruiting, 17 
Division of Reserve, 4, 7, 12, 39-40, 64, 89, 106, 
175, 187; illus., 177 

Women's Branch, 69, 104, 192 
Educational Services Branch, 169 
Fiscal Division, 71 

G-l Division, 71, 73, 77, 89, 193; illus., 64 
G-3 Division, 65, 71, 76 
G-4 Division, 71 

History and Museums Division, 36, 80 
Judge Advocate Division, 153, 172; illus., 172 
Manpower Department, 195 
Personal Affairs Branch, 64 
Personnel Department, 5-7, 18, 60-62, 64, 70-72, 
89 

Procurement Branch, 36, 193 
Separation and Retirement Branch, 71n 
Special Services Branch, 148 
Supply Department, I2n 
Headquarters Regiment, MCB, Camp Pendleton, 

California, 186 
Headquarters Squadron, MCAS, Cherry Point, North 
Carolina, 51 



INDEX 



237 



Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Frankfurt, 

Germany, 193 
Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, 

Saigon, Vietnam, 79 
Heidelberg, Germany, I6n 
Heitman, IstSgt Gayle R., 99-100 
Henderson, Gen Archibald, 195 
Henderson Hall, 11, 17, 21, 25-27, 138, 140, 143 
Henderson, Col Margaret M., 23, 25-26, 28-32, 69, 

109, 124, 146, 151, 160, 164, 167, 170, 175-176, 

180-181, 190-191; illus., 28, 171, 190 
Hendrickson, Capt Emma H. (See Clowers, LtCol 

Emma H.) 
Hendrickson, June, 26 
Henritze, SSgt May A.; illus., 13 
Henry, 2dLt Marie L., 37 
Hensley, Cpl, 85 
Hernandez, Capt Manuela, 79 
Hernadnez, lstlt Maria T., 96 
Hilgart, Col Valeria F., 60, 72, 91, 140, 150; illus., 58 
Hill, Col Elsie E., 10, 23, 25-26, 33-34, 36, 38, 64, 

104, 111, 118, 167; illus., 35, 37, 58 
Hill, MajGen William P., 26 
Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot, 10 
Hirshinger, TSgt Agnes T., 10; illus., 13 
Hochmuth, MajGen Bruno A., 191 
Hockenhull, LCpl Brenda; illus., 90 
Hodges, LtCol Charles T., 25 
Holcomb, Gen Thomas A., 174, 195 
Holloway, LCpl Robin M., 79 
Holmberg, lstlt Dorothy A., 42, 53 
Homan, Sgt Carol J., 67 
Homza, Sgt Anna, 42 
Honor Graduate, 121-123; illus., 122 
Hook, Maj Patricia A., 107 
Hoolailo, SSgt Sandra, 139 
Hooper, Marion A. (See Swope, Marion A.) 
Horner, Maj Emily, 41; illus., 58 
Hornsby, 2dLt Julia M., 10 
Horton, Capt (USN) Mildred H., 3 
Hostess House, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 
House Armed Services Committee, 17, 154 
House Armed Services Subcommittee, 90 
House Naval Affairs Committee Hearings on H.R. Bill 
. 5919, 4 
Houston, Texas, 178 
Hovatter, LtCol Eugenous E., 71 
Hull, 2dLt Laura A., 98 
Humphrey, Senator Hubert H., 26 
Humphrey, Maj Jeanne B., 76, 106-107 
Humphrey, 2dLt Margaret A., 96 



Hunt, SSgt Dorothy T., 10, 29 (See also Stephenson, 

SSgt Dorothy T.) 
Hunt, MajGen Leroy P., 26 
Hurlburt, Cpl Patricia, 81 
Hurst, BGen Edward H., 178 
Hutcheon, Capt Lily S. (See also Gridley, LtCol Lily 

H.) 
Hutchinson, SSgt Naomi, 67 



Illich, Capt Mary V., 5-7, 12w, 25-26 

Image Development Course, MCRD, Parris Island, 

South Carolina and MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 72 n, 

111-112; illus., 134 
Inactive status, 22, 25, 33, 40, 42, 191-192 
Inactive Women's Reserve, 1, 3, 183 (See also Volun- 
teer Marine Corps Women Reserves) 
Indianapolis, Indiana, 11 
Inspections, 72, 99-101, 112, 114, 116, 119-121, 127, 

137-139, 161, 181, 195; illus., 35, 105, 112, 114, 

117, 121, 131-132, 134, 158 
Inspector-Instructor (I-I), 10, 25, 36, 39-40, 42-43, 

45, 48, 53, 93, 101-102, 169, 194; illus., 41, 43, 

103-104 
Instruction Company, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North 

Carolina, 30 
Integration into Regular Marine Corps, 8, 10-11, 13, 

16-17, 22, 24-25, 31, 36-37, 39, 42, 57, 182, 

184-186 
Itchkawich, lstlt Charlene M., 87 
Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps War Memorial), 

Arlington, Virginia, 170 



Jackson, TSgt Beatrice J., 67 

Jackson, 2dLt Pearl A., 10, 37 

James, Cpl Veda R., 118 

Jaquet, LCpl Linda C. (See Beck, LCpl Linda C.) 

Jason, Capt Mary R., 102 

Jet Hangar Service Club, 51-52 

Joan of Arc, 178 

Jobusch, 2dLt Georgia J., 136 

Johnson, SSgt Jeanette M., 25 

Johnson, Louis A., 183 

Johnson, President Lyndon B., 145-146, 160, 192 

Johnson, lstlt Maralee J., 96 

Johnson, Capt Rosalie B., illus., 41 

Johnson, GySgt Ruth S., 95; illus., 97 

Johnson, 2dLt Virginia M., 36; illus., 34, (See also 



238 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Sherman, 2dLt Virginia M.) 

Joint Army-Navy Personnel Board, 4 

Joint Chiefs of Staff, 145 

Joint Examining and Induction Stations, 104 

Joint household policy, 151 

Joint Service Commendation Medal, 87, 169, 
172-174; illus., 87 

Jones, Cpl Geneva, 94 

Jones, 2dLt Phyllis L., 37 

Jones, LtCol Vera M., 85, 121; illus., 120-121 

Jordhal, Col Russell N., 30 

Joseph, 2dLt Bonnie J., 136 

Judge Advocate General (JAG), 12, 37, 76 

Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 89 

Judge Advocate General School, Charlottesville, Vir- 
ginia, 93 

Judge, SgtMaj Eleanor L., 40, 48, 100, 112, 190 

Juhan, Col Jack C, illus., 188 

Junior School (See Amphibious Warfare School) 

Junk on the bunk, illus., 114, 158 (See also In- 
spections) 



Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, 81; illus., 80 

Kansas City, Missouri, 11, 39-40, 104 

Karl, Sgt Grace M., 29, 44 

Kasdorf, 2dLt Barbara B., 37 

Kathan, IstLt Grace E., 43 

Katherine Towle Trophy, 102 

Kearns, GySgt Dorothy L., 67, 170-171; illus., 171 

Keefe, SSgt Katherine, 40, 51 

Keefe, PFC Margaret, illus., 163 

Keeler, 2dLt Doris M., 82-83 

Kees, Barbara (See Meeks, Barbara) 

Kegel, Cpl Virginia S., 47 

Kegel, W. G., 47 

Keller, LtGen Robert P., 131 

Kelley, BGen Paul X., 133, 136 

Kelley, Roger T. (See Assistant Secretary of Defense, 

Manpower and Reserve Affairs) 
Kelly, 2dLtJoAnne, 94 
Kennedy, President John F., 140 
Kennedy, Sgt Mary A., 162; illus., 158, 165 
Kent, Sgt Beatrice M., 47-48 
Kindig, Sgt Carol A., 81 
King, Sgt Lois, 162 
King, Sgt Mary E., 67 
Kinser, Capt George A., 81 
Kirchman, SSgt Martha E., 50 
Kisczik, PFC Kathleen A., 79 
Kleberger, Cpl Audrey E., 52 



Kleberger, LtCol Doris V., 33-34, 36-37, 43, 52-54, 

189; illus., 34, 43, 54, 61, 122 
Knight, 2dLt Rosa K., 136 
Knighton, Col Joseph W., 3-4, 13, 16-17 
Knox, Col Dorothy M., 10, 4l, 129; illus., 58 
Koeppler Compound, Saigon, Vietnam, 83, 85 
Kohen, MSgt Bette A., 49 
Kopp, TSgt Ann M., 52 
Korea, 10-11, 37, 44-46, 48, 52, 54-55, 57-58, 59«, 

60, 62-63, 65, 99, 125-126, 151, 175, 186, 188, 

190-194 
Kovar, PFC Theresa S., 52 
Kraft, IstLt Rebecca M., 78-79 
Krauss, PFC Julia, illus., 176 
Krulak, LtGen Victor H., 80 
Krusa, 2dLt Mary A., 92 
Kurashige, Capt Alice K., 74, 79 



Lady In The Navy (See Hancock, Capt Joy) 

Lafond, IstSgt Gene A., 100 

LaHue, LtCol Foster; illus., 188 

Laing, Col Robert B. Sr., 82 

Laird, Melvin R., 89 

Lamb, Pvt Ann E., 31-32 (See also Black Women 

Marines) 
Lamb, 2dLt Carol S., 98 
Lamont, LCpl Rosemary, 79 
Lanagan, BGen William H. Jr., 26 
Landing Force Development Center, MCS, Quanti- 

co, Virginia, illus., 50 
Lane, OC Mary E.; illus., 126 
Larison, LCpl Cheryl L., 79 
Laws, Capt Ellen T., 76 
Lawyer's Course, Naval Justice School, Newport, 

Rhode Island, 75-76 
League, Maj Mary S., 153; illus., 154 
League, LCdr William C, 153; illus., 154 
Leatherneck, v, 30, 123 
Leatherneck Award, 121-123; illus., 122 
Leaverton, Capt Shirley E., 172 
Lee, Capt Barbara J., 76 
Lee, Sgt Payton L., 30 
Legal Services School, MCB, Camp Pendleton, 

California, 171-172 
Legion of Merit, 169, 189-193 
Legislation, v, 4, 7, 11-12, 15-19, 22, 64, 193 
Leier, Sgt Margaret K., 29 
Leigh, Vivien, 42 
Lemnke, PFC Betty, 42 



INDEX 



239 



Lenhart, IstLt Linda J., 79 

Leppaluoto, IstLt Diane, 79 

Le Qui Don Hotel, Saigon, Vietnam, 84-85 

Letter of Commendation, 187, 189 

Lexington, Kentucky, 194 

Ley, Sgt Dorothy L., 61 

Liberty, 51, 52», 72, 80, 101, 111, 114, 127, 137, 

143-144 
Liddle, 2dLt Lynn A., 74 
Lighthall, Lois, 180 
Limited Duty Officer (LDO), 145-146 
Lindahl, SSgt Hazel A., 40, 59« 
Linscott, MajGen Henry D., 66 
Locks burg, Arkansas, 31 
Loftis, 2dLt Janie D., 136 
London, England, 6, 88 
Loper, PFC Pamela, 94 
Los Angeles, California, 11, 25, 39, 42, 102 
Los Angeles Times, 97 
Love, IstLt Katherine W., 42 
Lovelace, IstLt Florence E., 102 
Lovett, Robert A., 183 
Lovil, Pvt Connie J., 31 
Lowrie, Cap t Janet M., 104 
Lubbock, Texas, 190-191 
Lucas, 2dLt Essie M., 36, 52; illus., 34 (See also Dowl- 

er, 2dLt Essie M.) 
Ludlow, Representative Louis L., \n 
Ludwig, PFC Martha M., 52 
Lugo, Cpl Eva J., 96 
Lundin, Col William M., 81; illus., 75 
Lute, Cpl Paul D., 30 
Lyon, Cpl Evangeline L., 52 



M-16 service rifle, 119 
Maas, Maj Patricia A., 71 
McCall, TSgt Blossom J., 67 
McCarty, Capt Olive P., 102 
McCullough, BGen William L., 97 
MacDonald, IstLt Mary C, 39, 42 
McDonnell Douglas School, 94 
MaGauren, LCpl Maureen, 83 
McGraw, Capt Helen J., 23 
Mclntyre, CWO Alice, 10, 66, 145 
McKeown, Pvt Mary P., 93 
MacKinnon, IstLt Marjorie B., 104 
McLain, SSgt Mary L., 81; illus., 75 
McLamore, 2dLt Sara F., 62n 
McLaughlin, LtGen John N., 150 
MacPherson, 2dLt Bonnie L., 136 



Mahaffey, LCpl Joan, 94; illus., 96 

Mainbocher, 159-165, 167 

Malnar, Sgt Patricia, 81 

Mangrum, Col Richard C, 4 

Mare Island, 184 

Mariani, Mario, 165 

Marine Air Reserve Training Center, Glenview, Il- 
linois, 72 

Marine Auxiliary, 1 

Marine Aviation Detachment, NAS, Atlanta, Geor- 
gia, 191 

Marine Aviation Detachment, NAS, Memphis, Ten- 
nessee, 77-78 

Marine Band, 47, 95, 145; illus., 97 

Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C., 
162, 170, 186, 189; illus., 186, 188 

Marine Barracks, Naval Base, Long Beach, California, 
25 

Marine Barracks, Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Vir- 
ginia, 153 

Marine Barracks, Treasure Island, San Francisco, 
California, 76, 185 

Marine Barracks and Marine Corps Supply Depot, 
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 45 

Marine Barracks and Marine Corps Supply Depot, 
Camp Pendleton, California, 45 

Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, 
72, 78, 94, 177 

Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Caro- 
lina, 8, 33/z, 45-46, 48, 51-52, 62, 91-93, 182, 184, 
192; illus., 95 

Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, 45, 
49-50, 54, 62, 92, 181, 184, 193; illus., 70 

Marine Corps Air Station, Ewa, Honolulu, 192 

Marine Corps Air Station, Futema, Okinawa, Japan, 
81-83, 88, 185 

Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, 79-81, 83, 
88; illus., 75 

Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 52, 62, 
72, 78-79, 88 

Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Caroli- 
na, 72, 78 

Marine Corps Air Station, Santa Ana, California, 72, 
78, 183 

Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, 72, 78 

Marine Corps Association, 129 

Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Facility, Oak Grove, North 
Carolina, 192 

Marine Corps Aviation History Board, 12 

Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 
46-48, 53, 59#, 62, 65-66, 75, 91, 93-94, 138, 169, 



240 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



182, 184-185, 187, 189; illus., 92, 141 
Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, 46, 

48, 60, 62, 72, 77, 99, 177», 182, 185-186, 
191-193; illus,, 47, 91, 176 
Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, California, 72, 

78, 94, 139; illus., 91 
Marine Corps Birthday, 25, 159, 174, 176-177; illus,, 

173 
Marine Corps Development and Education Command 

(MCDEC), Quantico, Virginia, 63«, 125», 130, 

139 
Marine Corps Education Center, Quantico, Virginia, 

125-126, 193-194 
Marine Corps Emblem, 121; illus,, 121 
Marine Corps Gazette, v 
Marine Corps Institute, 17, 28, 190 
Marine Corps Landing Force Development Center, 

Quantico, Virginia, 178 
Marine Corps Landing Force Tactics and Techniques 

Board, Quantico, Virginia, 50 
Marine Corps League, 161, 178 
Marine Corps Letter of Instruction 1391, 7 
Marine Corps Letter of Instruction 1397, 8 
Marine Corps Manual, 27, 90, 98, 195 
Marine Corps Officer Selection Office, Federal Build- 
ing, Des Moines, Iowa, 171 
Marine Corps Postal School, 65 
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South 

Carolina, 10, 27-33, 44-46, 48-50, 53, 57, 62, 65, 

68, 91, 95, 102, 106-107, 109-124, 127-128, 166; 

illus,, 138 
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, 

45, 48-49, 59», 62, 68, 72, 95, 105, 109, 191 
Marine Corps Recruiting Station, San Francisco, 

California, 170 
Marine Corps Reserve, In, 3, 7-8, 17, 36, 107 
Marine Corps Reserve Administrative Course, MCB, 

Camp Pendleton, California, 177» 
Marine Corps Reserve Data Services Center, Kansas 

City, Missouri, 72 
Marine Corps Reserve Districts, 17, 39, 46, 62, 104 
Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association, 178 
Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, 11,17, 33, 

38, 45-46, 48, 50-51, 53-54, 62-63, 66-68, 71, 93, 

107, 111, 125, 127-128, 140, 166, 185, 192; illus., 

50, 74, 126-127, 130, 174 (See a/so Marine Corps 

Development and Education Command) 
Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, Georgia, 70, 

72, 78-79 
Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, California, 70, 

72, 78 



Marine Corps Supply Center Band, Albany, Georgia, 

94 
Marine Corps Supply Depot, Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania, 160 
Marine Corps Uniform Board, 159-162 
Marine Corps Women Reserves (MCWR), 1, 5-8, 12 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve, 3, 6-8, 13, 23, 27, 

31, 36, 174-175, 182-184, 187, 191-192 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve Battalion, MCB, 
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 187, 189, 191 

Marine Corps Women's Reserve Battalion, MCB, 

Camp Pendleton, California, 189 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve Battalion, MCS, 

Quantico, Virginia, 189 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve Post 907, American 

Legion, Chicago, Illinois, 8 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve Schools, MCB, Camp 

Lejeune, North Carolina, 184-185, 187, 189-190, 

192 
Marine Detachment, London, England, 88 
Marine Fighter Squadron 132, USMCR, 10 

Marine Security Guard Battalion, 87-88 

Marine Training Detachment, Naval Reserve Midship- 
men School (WR), Northampton, Massachusetts, 
178 

Marine Training Detachment, University of Indiana, 
191 

Marriage, 1, 22, 63, 71, 73, 130, 151, 193 

Married Officers' Quarters (MOQ) 3078, MCS, Quan- 
tico, Virginia, 34 

Marshall, George C, 183 

Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William 
and Mary, 93 

Martell, 2dLt Jennifer J. , 136 

Martin, Sgt Cynthia, 94 

Martin, PFC Gertrude, 79 

Martin, PFC Margaret M., 52 

Martin, lstlt Pearl, 8 

Martinez, MGySgt Rosita A,, 42, 60 

MAS NATO Brussells, Beligum, 88 

Maue, PFC Thomas J,, 172 

MCWR Band, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Caroli- 
na, 94 

Medford, Maj Ernest L, Jr., 4 

Meeks, Barbara, 180 

Meid, LtCol Patricia A., 107 

Memorial Day, 101 

Mess Hall 900, MCRD, Parris Island, South Caroli- 
na, 28 

Mess Night, 177, 186; illus,, 178 



INDEX 



241 



Metal Body Repair Course, Ordnance Center and 

School, Aberdeen, Maryland, 93 
Meyer, Capt Leontone A., 102 
Meyers, Capt Margaret E., 103 
Miami, Florida, 104 

Mickey's Bootery, Beaufort, South Carolina, 114 
Midshipman's School, Northampton, Massachusetts, 

75 
Milburn, TSgt Josephine R., 66 
Milholen, IstSgt Doris P., 53 
Milinovich, 2dLt Ann M., 136 
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), Sai- 
gon, 83-84, 86, 88 
Military Career, 6, 15, 21-22, 25, 32, 40, 42, 57, 60, 

70, 76, 112, 130, 137, 150, 153-154, 190, {See also 

Retirement) 
Military History Branch, Secretary Joint Staff, U.S. 

MACV, 83, 87, 172 
Military Intelligence Officer Course, Fort Holabird, 

Maryland, 74 
Military Intelligence Orientation Course, Fort 

Holabird, Maryland, 74 
Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), 1, 6, 9-H, 

13, 15, 45-46, 50, 52, 57-65, 68-69, 72-75, 77-78, 

89-94, 96-97, 101, 107, 117-118, 133, 181 
Military Police, 91-92 
Military Police Officer Orientation Course, Fort 

McClellan, Alabama, 92 

Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia, 91 

Military subjects, 26, 30-31, 40, 48, 66, 101, 109-112, 
134-135; illus., 113 

Miller, MSgtElsieJ., 25, 28, 182; illus., 24 

Miller, Florence, 180 

Mills College, Oakland, California, 188 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 11 

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 11, 42, 45, 50, 103, 192 

Miss Ronsom and Miss Bridges School for Girls, Pied- 
mont, California, 187 

Moak, PFC Grace, 42 

Mobilization, 11, 28, 39-40, 43-49, 57, 59, 62, 65, 

69, 78, 101, 104, 106, 186, 188 
Mobilization Stations, 104 
Mock, Capt Mary S., 37, 46, 50; illus., 58 
Mockler, LtCol Edward M., 133 
Moesel, Capt Karyl L., 96 
Molly Marine, 129, 177-180; illus., 179 
Molly Restoration Fund, 178 
Monette, SgtJoAnne, 162; illus., 163 
"Montezuma Red" (lipstick), 167 
Montford Point Branch Post Office, MCB, Camp 



Lejeune, North Carolina, 65 
Moore, SgtMaj J. F., 81; illus., 75 
Moore, LCpl Sheryl L., 79 
Moore, SSgt Virginia L., 48 
Moran, MGySgt Geraldine M., 6, 150, 181 
Moran, Cpl Marion M., 118 
Morise, PFC Gail F., 94 
Moroney, Col Ellen B., illus., 126 
Morrissey, 2dLtJoan, 36, 38, 44 
Morrow, 2dLt Mildred D., 37 
Mort, CWO Lotus T., 13, 145; illus., 138, 147 
Mortenson, PFC Ruth, 42 
Motelewski, Col Joseph R., 93 
Motherhood, 151-154, 193 
Motor Transport and Maintenance Company, 2d 

Maintenance Battalion, Force Troops, 2d Force 

Service Support, 94 
Motor Transport Division, MCAS, Cherry Point, 

North Carolina, 94 
Municipal Court, Cleveland, Ohio, 93 
Munn, LtCol Ben A., 10, 23, 40, 140, 162 
Munn, LtGen John C, 10 
Munroe, Cpl Dorothy M., v, 40 
Murphy, Capt Patricia A. (See Gormley, Capt Patricia 

M.) 
Murray, PFC Betty S., 68 
Murray, MSgt Catherine G., 48, 140; illus., 47 
Murray, GySgt Donna H., illus., 86, 152 
Musselman, Peggy, 43 
Musser, PFC Regina T.; illus., 91 



Nadeau, MSgt Cecilia, 42, 48 
Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, 98 
National Gallery of Art, 160 
National Organization of Women (NOW), 99 
National Women Reserve Rifle Team Trophy, 102 
Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Dal- 
las, Texas, 105 
Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D.C., 159 
Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California, 76 
Naval Reserve Act of 1938, 4, 15, 174 
Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC), 132 
Naval Training School, Hunter College, New York, 

New York, 182, 186, 189 
Navy Achievement Medal, 169, 186 
Navy and Marine Corps Medal, 79#, 169-172; illus. , 

170-172 
Navy Building-Marine Corps Reserve Armory, Boston, 
Massachusetts, 10 



242 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Navy Commendation Medal, 64, 169 

Navy Field Medical Research Laboratory, MCB, Camp 
Lejeune, North Carolina, 66 

Navy Instructors School, Norfolk, Virginia, 66 

Navy Judge Advocate General, 3-4, 17 

Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, St. 
Louis, Missouri, 43 

Navy nurses, 51, 52», 53, 80-81, 145; illus., 130 

Navy Reserve, 17 

Nelson, Mary J., 180 

Nelson, PFC Sonia, 123; illus., 122 

New Orleans Cajun Chapter, Women Marines Associ- 
ation, 178 

New Orleans, Louisiana, 11, 39, 177-178, 180, 186; 
illus., 179 

New York, New York, 7-8, 10-11, 31, 39, 160, 162 

Nichols, BGen Robert L., 98 

Nickerson, LtCol Herman, Jr., 30 

Nigro, MSgt Petrina "Pete" C, 25; illus., 45, 67 

Nimitz, Adm Chester W., 16-17 

19th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 10 

90th Officer Candidate Class, 131 

9th Marine Amphibious Brigade Band, Camp Han- 
sen, Okinawa, Japan, 82 

9th Marine Corps Reserve District, Chicago, Illinois, 
46, 193 

Noble, MajGen Alfred H., 28-29, 31 32» 

Noble, IstLt Elizabeth, 42 

Noble, 2dLt Natalie, 37, 51 

Noffke, Cpl Alma, 50 

Noguera, 2dLt Alpha R., 74 

Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School, 184-185 

Nonjudicial punishment, 51, 100 

Noren, Maj Wesley C, illus., 61 

Northwestern University Traffic Institute, Eyanston, 
Illinois, 92 

Novotny, Sgt Mildred A., 13, .25; illus., 24 

Nunn, Capt (USN) Ira H., 17 

Nurse Corps, 145 



Oakland, California, 11, 184 

Oakland Tribune , 188 

Oberfell, PFC Ann, 60 

"OC" pins, illus., 129 

Ocean Beach, North Carolina, 49 

O'Donnel, 2dLt Mary E., 37 

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpow- 
er and Reserve Affairs) Central All-volunteer Task 
Force on the Utilization of Military Women, 89 



Officer Candidates School, Quantico, Virginia, 125, 
131-132 

Officer training, 4, 10, 22, 25-26, 33-38, 44, 46, 
53-54, 63, 70, 72-77, 106, 125-136, 187 

Officer Training School (MCWR), MCB, Camp 
Lejeune, North Carolina, 178 

Officer transfer program, 23, 25-26, 36, 46 

Ogborn, Pvt M. B., 91 

Ogburn, 2dLt Emily C, 37 

O'Hanlon, 2dLt Marjorie E., 144 

Ohio State University, 73, 76#, 189 

O'Keefe, TSgt Katherine, 33n 

Okinawa, Japan, 79-83, 85, 88, 93, 186, 192 

Old Corps, 13 

Oliver, Laurence, 42 

Oliver, PFC Nita M., 52 

Olsen, IstLt Lucille M., 39 

Olson, BGen Harry C, 171; illus., 171 

Olson, Mary J. (See Nelson, Mary J.) 

O'Neil, 2dLtJoan P., 37 

Onslow Beach, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Caroli- 
na, 136 

Ordemann, IstSgt Margaret S., 23 

Orden, Col George O., 4l 

Organized Women's Reserve, 4, 6-8, 10-11, 15, 17-18, 
39-46, 53, 187 

Organized Women's Reserve Program, 17, 39, 
101-107 (See also Organized Women's Reserve) 

Orleans, France, 178 

Ostby, Col John L., 153 

Otten, SgtMaj Mabel A., 43, 181, 184-185; illus., 184 

Outstanding Recruit, (See Honor Graduate) 



Packwood, Norval E., 30 

Pallant, LCpl Doris H., 79 

Palmer, OC June E., illus., 126 

Pan American World Airways International Stewardess 
College, 111 

Parade, 164 

Paris, France, 193 

Parris Island Drum and Bugle Corps, 31 

Pate, Gen Randolph M., 3», 4, 16, 39, 148, 175; il- 
lus., 177 

Paterson, TSgt Janet R., 34 

Patrick, Maj Roberta N., 177 

Patriotism, 1, 8, 109, 177, 189 

Paul, LtGen Willard S., 17 

Pauley, IstLt Mabel A., 104 

Peacetime Military Status, 1 



INDEX 



243 



Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 52-53, 60, 62, 137 

Pearson, Capt Jeanette, 43 

Pease, WO Mary E., 87 

Peatross, MajGen Oscar F., 177 

Pederson, LCpl Debora, 98 

Pederson, Sgt Gladyce, 42 

Peeler, lstlt Geraldine E., 79 

Pender, Nebraska, 186 

Pentagon, 78 

Pepper Board, 57, 71-88, 90, 93, 105, 130, 141 

Pepper, Maj Frances W., 12# 

Pepper, LtGen Robert H., 71, 88 

Perate, Maj Pauline E., 23 

Peregrim, SSgt Anna, 25; illus., 24 

Permanent rank, 3, 18, 23, 145 

Personnel Administration School, MCRD, Parris Is- 
land, South Carolina, 31-32, 57, 112, 183, 185 

Personnel Monitors, 71 

Pete, Maj Guy A. Jr., 135 

Peters, SgtMaj Bertha L. (See Billeb, CWO Bertha P.) 

Peters, GySgt Esther F., 96 

Pfeiffer, PFC Patricia, 48 

Phelan, TSgt Eileen P., Ill 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 10-11, 25, 39, 41, 48, 
102, 152, 160, 175, 180 

Philippines, 99, 192 

Physical fitness, 97, 100, 107, 109, 116, 119-121, 
134-136; illus., 119 

Pierce, LCpl Cathy L., 79 

Pierce, Sgt Julia M., 52 

Piippo, MSgt Vera E., 25, 49 

Pirhalla, Maj Paul P., 71 

Pittman, Capt Bernice M., 51 

Plans and Operations Branch, Marine Corps Educa- 
tion Center, Quantico, Virginia, 77 

Platoon 1A, 31, 121; illus., 120 (See also Recruit 
Training 

Platoon 2A, 44 (See also Recruit Training) 

Platoon 7, 31 (See also Recruit Training) 

Platoon 9A, 107 (See also Recruit Training) 

Platoon 11-A, 123 (See also Recruit Training) 

Platoon 15-A, 123 (See also Recruit Training) 

Platoon Leaders Course, 33 

Plourde, Sgt Jeanette M., 118 

Plowman, SSgt Doris M., 49 

Police Department, Westminster, California, 91 

Policy, 1-4, 6-8, 11-12, 15, 27, 52-53, 57, 61-63, 
69-70, 73, 78-79, 88-90, 98, 100, 107, 117, 134, 
137, 144, 148-151, 153-155, 167, 176, 181, 187, 
192-195 (See also Legislation) 

Polvogt, SgtMaj Thomas, 42-43 



Port Royal, South Carolina, 31, 113 

Porter, Col Frank R. Jr., 71 

Portland, Oregon, 11 

Post Personnel Company, 3d Recruit Training Battal- 
ion, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 50 

Post Theater, Henderson Hall, 26 

Postwar Personnel Reorganization Board, 12#, 40 

Postwar Women's Reserve, 1-11, 16 

Postwar Women's Reserve Board, 4 

Potomac River, 34, 125 

Potter, Sgt Kathy A., 107 

Pounders, Sgt Elva M., 81 

Powell, Sgt Lynn J., 97 

Powell, Representative Adam C, 31 

Prackevich, Cpl Emilie, illus., 13 

President of the United States, 15, 18, 26, 140, 
145-146, 160, 172, 189 

Presidential Inaugural Committee, 160 

Preston, 2dLt Betty J., 25, 36, 44; illus., 24, 34 

Primeau, Capt Elaine I., 172 

Pritzker, 2dLt Shirley A., 37 

Procedures Analysis Office Study, 57-59 

Processing Centers, 105 

Promotions, 3, 18, 21, 23, 63#, 64, 76-77, 107, 123, 
145-150, 182-187, 193-194; illus., 66, 146-147, 
149 

Prospector, 78 

Proulx, Sgt Marie A., 29 

Provost Marshal General's School — Investigative 
Officers Course, Camp Gordon, Georgia, 144 

Provost Marshal Office, 91-92, 144, 185 

Public Law 90-130, 76, 106, 145-148, 192 

Public Law 625 (See Women's Armed Services Integra- 
tion Act of 1948) 

Puller, MajGen Lewis B., 68 

Purdie, SSgt Denna S., 95 



Quantico, Virginia, 125 

Quarters 1, MB, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C., 

164 
Querry, MSgt Bernice P., 79 
Quilici, Col Clifford P., illus., 149 
Quinlan, PFC Frances, 48 
Quinn, TSgt Mary C, 50; illus., 174 



Racial Segregation, 23, 31 

Radar Fundametnals Course (See Communications- 
Electronic School) 



244 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Radics, Col Emil J., illus., 176 

Ramos, Pvt Sunny, 113 

Ramsey, Capt Emma G., 52, 79 

Range Company, Camp Fuji, Okinawa, Japan, 83 

Rarrick, Pvt Rebecca, 48 

Read, 2dLt Margaret B., 74 

Reals, BGen Gail M., 63, 76, 87, 113, 120 

Recall of released women, 12-13, 46 

Recruit Company, Woman Recruit Training Battal- 
ion, MCRD, Parris Island, South Carolina, 112; il- 
lus., 120, 122 (See also Recruit Training) 

Recruit regulations, 116 

Recruit Training, 10, 21, 23, 27-33, 38, 40, 44, 49, 
52-53, 63, 69, 72, 94-95, 107, 109-124, 127, 187 
(See also Henderson Hall; Woman Recruit Train- 
ing Battalion) 

Recruiter School, MCRD, Parris Island, South Caro- 
lina, 112, 184-185 

Recruitment, 1, 3, 8, 10, 23, 25-26, 33, 36, 40-44, 
46, 53, 62, 65, 69-74, 88-90, 100-101, 106, 111, 
140, 184-185, 195 

Red Cross, 116 

Redding, Cpl Sue, 94 

Reenlistments, 3, 23, 40, 80, 90, 151, 184; illus., 152 

Reeves, Cpl Edith M., 118 

Regular Air Force, 18 

Regular Army, 3, 15-17 

Regular commission, 8, 10, 21-23, 25, 33-34, 36-37, 
40, 54, 187, 191-192 

Regular Navy, 3-4, 15, 17 

Regular status for women, 4, 11, 15-18, 21-26, 187 
(See also Integration into Regular Marine Corps; 
Transfer program) 

Reinemond, Sgt Ida J., 118 

Reinholz, LtCol Ruth F., 83, 144, 172 

Reny, MSgt Alice M., 66-67 

Reserve commission, 3, 5, 33, 36-37, 40, 75, 93, 182, 
184-185, 187, 190-192 

Reserve of Women, 1 

Reserve Structure Board, 104 

Reservists on continuous active duty, 1-2, 4, 6-8, 
10-12, 16, 18, 21-22, 33, 39-41, 46, 55, 64 

Resignation of WRs, 3 

Retention of Women Reserves at HQMC, 5-6, 11-13, 
15, 23-25, 171 

Retired Marine, v 

Retirement, 6», 10, 13, 18, 22, 32, 42-43, 45, 52, 
60, 65, 105-106, 140-141, 145, 147, 149, 169, 171, 
175, 182-186, 189-193; illus., 186, 188 

Revak, Cpl Anne, 46 

Revlon, 167 



Reynolds, Cpl Jane L., 50 

Rhindress, Sgt Chadeane A., 49 

Ridgely, BGen Reginald H. Jr., 61 

Rienzi, 160 

Riley, IstLt Pauline "Polly" F., 12«, 23, 40 

Risegari-Gai, Capt Constance, 8, 10, 39-41; illus., 9 

Ritscher, 2dLt Angelica V., 136 

Ritter, IstLt Anne S., illus., 58 

Roach, Capt Mary E., illus., 103 

Robbins, PFC Hazel E., 60 

Roberts, LtGen Carson A., illus., 74 

Roberts, 2dLt Margaret C, 37 

Roberts, Capt Nancy M., 8, 23, 42 

Roberts, Maj Roberta N. (See Patrick, Maj Roberta N.) 

Robertson, CWO Margaret, 145 

Robinson, Cpl Cynthia, 98 

Roche, MSgt Mary E., 25, 52; illus., 24 

Rochester, New York, 11 

Roddy, LtCol Mary E., 39, 46, 105; illus., 105 

Roman, PFC Fredrick H., 169 

Roosevelt, Mrs. Franklin D., 174 

Rowe, SFC Thomas, 107 

Rubel, Sgt Deborah, A., 94 

Russia, 11 

Ruth Cheney Streeter Trophy, 102 

Ryan, MajGen Michael P., 106 

Ryan, MSgt Ruth, 29-30, 44, 48, 65 

Rzepny, Cpl Dorothy, 118 



Sacco, Cpl Car la J., illus., 165 

Saigon, Vietnam, 82-88 

St. Francis Catholic Church, Triangle, Virginia, 140 

Saint Francis Hotel, San Francisco, California, 21 

St. Louis, Missouri, 11, 42-43, 49, 102, 180, 184 

St. Paul, Minnesota, 185 

St. Vincent DePaul Orphanage, Saigon, Vietnam, 86; 

illus., 84 
Salazar, SSgt Ermelinda (See Esquibel, SSgt Er- 

melinda) 
Salzman, BGen Elmer H., 42 
San Bruno, California, 103 
San Diego, California, 10-11, 45, 48-49, 59«, 68 
San Diego Chevron, 53, 59# 
San Francisco, California, 8, 10-11, 21, 26, 39, 42, 

46, 48, 50, 52, 62, 65, 76, 103, 180, 182, 184, 186; 

illus., 45 
Saunders, Col William F. Jr., 130 
Savage, LCpl Diana, 81 
Savannah, Georgia, 32 
Saxon, LCpl Carrie M., 79 



INDEX 



245 



Scanlon, WO Eileen R., 140 

Schaffer, 2dLt Margaret., 52 

Scherman, TSgt Anna M., 25 

Schirmer, TSgt "A" Fern, 34, 44, 46, 48 

Schneider, Capt David A., 93 

Schoenecker, PFC Kathleen, 42 

Schools Company, Headquarters Battalion, MCS, 
Quantico, Virginia, 33 

Schriver, Col Richard J., 177 

Schultz, SSgt Bertha J., 25, 29, 44 

Schultz, IstSgt Betty J., 26, 31, 53, 140; illus., 30 

Schultz, Capt Emily, 50 

Scott, 2dLt Janice C, 74 

Scott, Cpl Pamela S., % 

Scudder, Cpl Mary E., 52 

Seattle, Washington, 8, 11, 39, 42, 53, 102 

2d Infantry Battalion, USMCR, Boston, Mas- 
sachusetts, 10 

2d Infantry Battalion Band, USMCR, Boston, Mas- 
sachusetts, 47 

2d Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF, MCAS, Cherry Point, 
North Carolina, 96-97 

2d Marine Division, FMF, MCB, Camp Lejeune, 
North Carolina, 68 

2d Platoon, Company C, Basic Class 3-77, 135-136; 
illus., 135 

2d Wing NCO Leadership School, 68 

Secretary of Defense, 17, 89, 183, 195 

Secretary of the Navy, 1, 187, 194 

Seibi Yamanaka Orphanage, Okinawa, Japan, 83 

Seman, PFC Mary A., 52 

Senate Armed Services Committee, 17 

Senate Subcommittee Hearings {See 80th Congress) 

Senior School {See Command and Staff College) 

Sentipal, Pvt Paula W., 167 

Separation Company, Headquarters Battalion, Head- 
quarers Marine Corps, 25 

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, 149 

Sergeant Major of Women Marines, 42, 79-80, 111, 
161, 177, 181-186, 191; illus., 161, 181-186 

Service Battalion, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 51 

Service benefits, 18 

Serviceman's Opportunity College, 169 

79th Congress, 15-16 

Sexton, Cpl Naomi J., 52 

Shafer, Cpl Constance A., 120 

Shaffer, Sgt Margaret A., 67 

Shaffer, MajGen Richard F., illus., 87 

Shaw, Henry L Jr., v, lln 

Shaw, 2dLt Judith C, 136 

Sheftz, GySgt Sharly E., 96 



Shepherd, Gen Lemuel C. Jr., 3#, 11, 17, 36, 169; 
illus., 170, 188 

Sheraton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, 186 

Sherman, 2dLt Virginia M., 36; illus., 34 

Sherwood, 2dLt Donna J., 74 

Shoup, Gen David M., 175 

Silver Star, 169 

Silvey, IstLt Wanda R., 78 

Simpson, LtGen Ormond R., 89 

Sims, Maj Gerald W., 138 

6th Marine Corps District, Atlanta, Georgia, 194 

6th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 173 

Slaton, PFC Earlene, 52 

Smith, PFC Cathy E., 93 

Smith, Capt Edna L., 12 

Smith, SSgt Inez E., 67 

Smith, Representative Margaret C, 4, 15-17 

Smith, MajGen Oliver P., illus., 47 

Smith, Capt VeaJ., 78; illus., 133 

Smith, PFC Vivia, 52 

Snedeker, BGen Edward W., 68 

Snell, Col Albert W., 89-90, 98 

Snell, Committee, 57, 89-100, 137 

Snyder, IstLt Kathyrn E., 10, 39, 42, 48 

Somers, Capt Barbara, 39 

Sousa, Sgt Theresa "Sue" M., 43, 60; illus., 41 

South Charleston, West Virginia, 185 

Spaatz, Cpl, 85 

Spaatz, Gen Carl T., 17 

Spanjer, MajGen Ralph H., 97 

SPARS, 1, 42 

Special Education Program, 76 

Speer, Albert, I6n 

Squantum, 10 

Staff NCO Leadership School, MCB, Camp Lejeune, 
North Carolina, 66-68; illus., 66-67 

Staff NCO Leadership School, MCB, Quantico, Vir- 
ginia, 67-68 

Staff Noncommissioned Officers Club, Camp Butler, 
Okinawa, Japan, 82-83 

Standage, IstLt Marilyn J., 104 

Status of women in the Marine Corps, 69 

Steele, SSgt Elizabeth J. , 7, 10 

Stephenson, 2dLt Barbara J., 37 

Stephenson, SSgt Dorothy T., 10, 29 

Stevenson, IstLt Margaret L., 23, 27 

Stolarchyk, SSgt Linda D., 95 

Stottlemyre, 2ndLt Gloria M., 136 

Strain, Capt Christine S., 42, 102 

Streeter, Col Ruth C, v, 1, 3, 6, 8, 15, 18, 23-24, 
141, 146, 174, 187, 190, 195; illus., 5, 13 



246 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Stremlow, Col Mary L., illus., 122, 126 

Strong, IstLt Beatrice R. , 39 

Strong, Capt Virginia B., 102 

Strothers, BGen Dean C, 17 

Stuart, Col Rilda M., 148 

Sullivan, SSgt Dorothy E., 29, 31; illus., 30 

Sullivan, 2dLt Mary E., 52 

Summer camp (See Active Duty for Training) 

Summers, IstLt Charlene M. (See Itchkawich, IstLt 
Charlene M.) 

Supervisor of Women Marines, 48, 50-52 

Supply Company, Headquarters and Service Battal- 
ion, MCB, Twentynine Palms, California, 99; il- 
lus., 99 

Supply School, MCB, Camp Lejeune, North Caroli- 
na, 48 

Supported Activity Supply System, 93 

Supreme Court, 156 

Sustad, Coljeanettel., 18«, 23, 28, 31, 44, 48, 62*z, 
72, 78, 148, 150, 152-154, 166, 175, 192-193; il- 
lus., 29, 47, 177, 193 

Swanson, RAdm Clifford A., 153-154 

Swanson, LtCol Emmet O., 42 

Swickheimer, Maj Georgia, illus., 176 

Swope, Marion A., 180 



Table of Organization (T/O), 23,53,57-58,67, 137 
Tacoma, Washington, 192 
Tallman, IstLt Anne S., 81; illus., 80 
Tampa, Florida, 103-104 
Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon, Vietnam, 84 
Tanalski, TSgt Katherine F., 60 
Tanh Anh, Vietnam, illus., 86 
Tarte, MSgt Elizabeth, 51 
Tate, Cpl Ruth V., 52 
Tatus, Maj Helen M., illus., 58 
Taylor, Capt A., 103 
Taylor, 2dLtJoAnn, 136 
Taylor, LtCol Robert W., 81 
Taylor, 2dLt Vicki B., 96 
Teletype Operator School, 72 
Temporary rank, 18, 21, 23, 148-149, 182, 190-191 
Tenteris, IstLt Carolyn, 40 
Termination of Wartime Women's Reserve, 5 
Test Instrument Course, Albany, Georgia, illus., 90 
Testing and Educational Unit, MCS, Quantico, Vir- 
ginia, 38, 145 
Tet offensive of 1968, 83, 85 
Texas Technological College, Lubbock, Texas, 191 
The Ambassador Hotel, Saigon, Vietnam, 84 



The Basic School, Camp Barrett, Quantico, Virginia, 
33-34, 37-38, 46, 54, 63, 98, 125-126, 130-134, 
177 

The Lord's Prayer, 115-116 

The Plaza, Saigon, Vietnam, 84-85 

The Washington Post, 136 

Thies, Pvt Cynthia L., 57 

3d Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD, Parris Island, 
South Carolina, 27-33, 44, 46, 49-50, 53, 64, 109, 
123-124, 182, 185, 191-192 (See also Woman 
Recruit Training Battalion; Woman Recruit Train- 
ing Command) 

32d Woman Officer Candidate Class (See Company 
W) 

35th Woman Officer Basic Course, 91 

35th Woman Officer Candidate Class, 131-132 

38th Woman Officer Basic Class, 132 

39th woman Officer Basic Class, 134-135 

Thomas, Sgt Agnes C, 29, 44 

Thomas, LtCol Alfred I., 71 

Thomas, Cpl Erlene A., 118 

Thomas, LtGen Gerald C, 1, 11-12, 164 

Thomas, Mrs. Gerald C, 164 

Thompson, CWO Mary, 145 

Thorning, Capt Dolores A., illus., 58 

Thornton, MSgt Sarah N., 67, 83 

Tiffany, LCplJudy A., 94 

Toledo, Ohio, 11 

Tomlinson, 2dLt Norma L., 74 

Topping, LtCol Robert W., 99 

Towle, California, 187 

Towle, Col Katherine A., 3-6, 8, 15, 21, 23-28, 31, 
33-34, 36, 41-42, 49, 52-53, 57, 59, 65-67, 109, 
137, 140, 147, 151, 159-160, 162, 174-175, 
187-189, 190; illus., 5, 13, 22, 24, 52, 138, 146, 
159, 187-188 

Toys for Tots, 101 

Tracked Vehicle Maintenance Unit, MCB, Camp Pen- 
dleton, California, illus., 91 

Training, 1, 3-4, 7-8, 10-12, 19, 23, 26-27, 40, 43, 
50, 53-55, 57, 60, 63, 65-70, 72, 77, 88, 97, 
100-101, 104-106, 138-139, 195 (See also Active 
Duty for Training; Officer Training; Recruit Train- 
ing; Women's Volunteer Training Units) 

Training Brigade, Marine Training Detachment, U.S. 
Naval Training School, Bronx, New York, 187, 189 

Transfer Program, 21-23 

Travis Air Force Base, California, 81 

Treasure, 2dLt Tommy L., 74 

Triangle, Virginia, 51, 140 

Troche, PFC Adoree R., 52 



INDEX 



247 



Trowsdale, LtCol Annie M., 100 

Truck Company, 4th Service Battalion, USMCR, Erie, 

Pennsylvania, 106 
Truman, President Harry S., 15, 18, 26 
Turner, Cpl Elizabeth, 81 
12th Marine Corps Reserve and Recruitment District, 

San Francisco, California, 184 
20th Woman Officers Basic Course, 74 
Twilley, IstLt Patsy A., illus., 133 
Tyler, Capt Hazel C, 43, 103 

Uniform Regulations, U.S. Marine Women's Reserve, 

1945, 157 
Uniforms, 26, 40, 43, 46, 48, 50, 83-85, 90, 95, 

98-99, 109, 113-116, 119-121, 123, 125, 139-141, 

143, 153, 157-168, 195; illus., 52, 111, 119, 130, 

158-159, 161, 163, 165-167 
Union Station, Wasington, D.C., 47 
U.S. Embassy, Santo Domingo, 174; illus., 173 
U.S. Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia, 52 
United States Code, Titles 10 and 37, 89, 155 
U.S. Employment Services, Tacoma, Washington, 192 
U.S. Information Service, Washington, D.C., 189 
United States Naval Academy, 134 
University of California, 5, 21, 34, 187, 189^ 
University of California Press, 187 
University of Chicago, 192 

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 95, 193 
University of Minnesota, 192 
University of Montana, 95 
University of Southern California, 25 
University of Texas, 190 
University of Washington, 192 
Unsung Heroine Award, 86; illus., 84 
USO, 32 

Vandegrift, Gen Alexander A., 3-4, 6, 12, 15, 18, 

174, 187; illus., 5 
VandenBossche, Capt Cecelia, 43; illus., 44 
VanDyke, MSgt Jessie, 51 
VanStockum, BGen Ronald R., 82; illus., 81 
Vardy, Capt Sarah M., 4, I2n 
Vassar College, 189 
Vaughn, MGySgt Mary G., 150 
Venne, 2dLt Michele D., 97 
Vertalino, Capt Carol A. (See Diliberto, Capt Carol 

A.) 
Vertalino, Capt Mary L. (See Stremlow, Col Mary L.) 
Veterans, 6, 8, 22, 39-40, 44-46, 48, 53, 57, 63, 180 

(See also Former WRs) 



Veterans Administration, 53 

Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, 86; illus., 84 

Victory, BGen Randall M., 52 

Victory, Mrs. Randall M., 52 

Vietnam, 52-53, 62, 64, 73, 80, 83-88, 99, 151, 172, 

192; illus., 82 
Vietnamese Service Medal, 87 
Villanueva, PFC Christin, 60 
Vinson, Representative Carl, 15 
Voisine, LCpl Harriett F., 91 
Vollmer, SSgt Dorothy L., 67 
Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve, Class III, 44 
Volunteer Marine Corps Women Reserve (VMCWR), 

1, 3, 46 
Volunteer Women's Reserve, 4, 6-13, 15, 53 (See also 

Women's Volunteer Training Units) 
Vosler, IstLt Isabel F., 42 



WAC Career Officers Course, Fort McClellan, Alaba- 
ma, 76 

Waclawski, IstSgt Esther D., 25, 48 

Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, 182 

Walker, Sgt Dorothy, 48 

Wall, PFC Allis V., 44 

Wallace, Capt Marilyn E., 81 

Waller, Col Littleton W., \n 

Wallis, Maj Jane L., 81-83; illus., 73, 81 

Walsh, LtCol Carolyn J., 125, 153 

Walsh, Cpl Joan V., 52 

Walsh, MSgt Rita M., 49, 79 

Walsh, IstLt Ruth (See Woidyla, IstLt Ruth) 

Wancheck, TSgt Mary F., 11, 25; illus., 24 

Warner, LtCol NitaB., 33-34, 37, 43, 49, 157; illus., 
58, 138 

Warrant Officer, 10, 13, 18, 32, 145 

Warrant Officer Basic School, 145 

Wartime Women's Reserve, 1-3,5,7 (See also Reten- 
tion of Women Reserves at HQMC) 

Wasco, California, 182 

Washington, D.C., 8, 11, 21, 25-26, 39, 41-43, 
46-48, 54, 60, 72, 75, 95, 103, 160, 187 (See also 
Headquarters Marine Corps) 

Water Supply and Plumbing Course, MCB, Camp 
Lejeune, North Carolina, 93 

Watson, IstLt Patricia, illus., 112 

WAVES, 1, 3-4, 7, 15, 17-18, 40, 42, 49, 52, 69, 76, 
84-85, 145, 162, 168, 182, 190 

Way, Maj John D., 81 

Wayne, John, 101 

Weede, MajGen Richard G., 71 



248 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Wegener, Cpl Margaret G. , 79 

Wclchcl, PvtJ. E., 91 

Wendel, 2dLt Harriet T., 74 

West, TSgt Lillian J., 67, 111 

WestPac, 79-88 

West Point, 17 

Wheeler, Sgt Ardella M., 29 

White House, 145 

White Letter No. 5-76, 132, 134, 137 

White, LtCol Robert D., 98 

Wiese, Sgt Charlene K., 96 

Wilbur, Col James R., 34 

Wilcox, Sgt Ethyl, 46 

Wilkie, MSgt Margery R., 66 

Willard, OC Antoinette S., 126 

Williams, Maj Cornelia D. T., 4, 191* 

Williams, MSgt Lucretia E., 140 

Williams, Sgt Mary, 60 

Williamson, Pvt M. L., 50 

Wilson, Cpl, 85 

Wilson, Col Helen A., 33*, 39, 41-42, 51, 52*, 89, 

104, 148, 177, 177*; illus., 51-52 
Wilson, Gen Louis H. Jr., 31, 90-91, 93, 132, 168, 

195 
Winchester, Massachusetts, 189 
Windsock, % 
Wing, Maj Marion, 4 
WMA Nouncements, 180 
Woidyla, IstLt Ruth, illus., 134 
Wold-Chamberlain Naval Air Station, 42 
Woman Marine Company, Camp Butler, Okinawa, 

81-83; illus., 73, 81 
Woman Marine Company, Camp H. M. Smith, 

Hawaii, 184-185 
Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service 

Battalion, FMFLant, Camp Elmore, Norfolk, Vir- 
ginia, 149, 194 
Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service 

Battalion, MCB, Camp Pendleton, California, 137, 

149, 186 
Woman Marine Company, Headquarters and Service 

Battalion, MCRD, San Diego, California, 49, 137, 

149, 186 
Woman Marine Company, Marine Barracks, MCB, 

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 48, 68, 149, 186, 

192, 194 
Woman Marine Company, MCAS, Kaneohe Bay, 

Hawaii, 79 
Woman Marine Company, Marine Corps Supply 

Center, Albany, Georgia, 79 
Woman Marine Company, Marine Corps Supply 



Center, Barstow, California, 78-79, 171; illus., 171 

Woman Marine Company, Service Battalion, Marine 
Barracks, MCB, Camp Pendleton, California, 48 
{See also Woman Marine Company, Headquart- 
ers and Service Battalion) 

Woman Marine Company, Service Battalion, MCS, 
Quantico, Virginia, 51, 149, 183 

Woman Marine Complex, MCRD, Parris Island, 
South Carolina, 123-124; illus., 123 {See also 
Billeting) 

Woman Marine Platoon, Headquarters Company, 
Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps 
Supply Center, Barstow, California, 79 

Woman Marine Platoon, Service Company, Head- 
quarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Sup- 
ply Center, Albany, Georgia, 79 

Woman Marine Detachment-1 (WMD-1), MCAS, El 
Toro, California, 49, 140, 149-150, 181, 185-186 

Woman Marine Detachment-2 (WMD-2), MCAS, 
Cherry Point, North Carolina, 33*, 51, 96, 137, 
139, 149; illus., 51-52 

Woman Marine Detachment-3 (WMD-3), MCAS, 
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, 53 

Woman Marine Drum Section, Drum and Bugle 
Team, MB, Treasure Island, San Francisco, Califor- 
nia, 94; illus., 96 

Woman Marine Newsletter, lA, 11, 166, 168 

Woman Marine Organized Reserve Platoons (WM Pla- 
toons), 10, 101-105 

WM Administrative Platoon, 1st 4.5-inch Rocket 
Battalion, USMCR, Dallas, Texas, 103, 105; illus., 
105 

WM Administrative Platoon, 2d 105mm Gun Bat- 
talion, USMCR, Miami, Florida, 104 
WM Administrative Platoon, 3d Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, St. Louis, Missouri, 102 
WM Administrative Platoon, 4th Infantry Battal- 
ion, USMCR, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 103 
WM Administrative Platoon, 5th Infantry Battal- 
ion, USMCR, Detroit, Michigan, 102 
WM Classification Platoon, 1st Air and Naval Gun- 
fire Liaison Company, USMCR, Fort Schuyler, New 
York, 102 

WM Classification Platoon, 1st Engineer Battalion, 
USMCR, Baltimore, Maryland, 103 
WM Classification Platoon, 2d 105mm Howitzer 
Battalion, USMCR, Los Angeles, California, 102 
WM Classification Platoon, 2d Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, Boston, Massachusetts, 102 
WM Classification Platoon, 9th Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, Chicago, Illinois, 102 



INDEX 



249 



WM Classification Platoon, 10th Infantry Battal- 
ion, USMCR, Seattle, Washington, 102 
WM Communications Platoon, 2d Communica- 
tions Company, USMCR, Brooklyn, New York 
(See WM Communications Platoon, 2d Signal 
Company, USMCR) 

WM Communications Platoon, 2d Signal Compa- 
ny, USMCR, Brooklyn, New York, 104, 194; il- 
lus., 103 

WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st 155mm Gun Battal- 
ion, USMCR, Denver, Colorado, 104 
WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st Amphibian Tractor 
Battalion, USMCR, Tampa, Florida, 103-104 
WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st Communications 
Company, USMCR, Worcester, Massachusetts, 
102, 104 

WM Disbursing Platoon, 2d Depot Supply Battal- 
ion, USMCR, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 102 (See 
also WM Disbursing Platoon, 1st Communications 
Company) 

WM Disbursing Platoon, 13th Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, Washington, D.C., 103 
WM Supply Platoon, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery- 
Automatic Weapons Battalion, USMCR, San Fran- 
cisco, California, 103 

WM Supply Platoon, 2d Depot Supply Battalion, 
USMCR, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 102 
WM Supply Platoon, 7th Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, San Bruno, California (See WM Supply 
Platoon, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery-Automatic 
Weapons Battalion, USMCR) 
WM Supply Platoon, 10th Automatic Weapons 
Battery, Kansas City, Missouri, 104 
WM Supply Platoon, 11th Infantry Battalion, 
USMCR, Cleveland, Ohio, 103 

Woman Marine Program Study Group (See Pepper 

Board) 
Woman Marine Reserve Company, 102 
Woman Marine Special Enlistment Program, 106-107 
Woman Officer Basic Course (WOBC), 127, 129-132 
Woman Officer Candidate Course (WOCC), 40, 

52-54, 64, 66-67, 70, 72, 74, 129, 131-132, 185, 

193-194; illus., 37, 128 
Woman Officer Indoctrination Course (WOIC), 33, 

37-38, 54, 63, 72, 75, 127, 193-194 (See also 

Woman Officer Basic Course) 
Woman Officer Procurement, 33, 36, 40, 88, 90, 130, 

186, 194 
Woman Officer School (1965-1973), MCDEC, Quan- 

tico, Virginia, 125, 186, 194 



Woman Officer School (1973-1974), Marine Corps 
Education Center, Quantico, Virginia, 125, 
130-132 

Woman Officer Training Class (WOTC), 33-36, 40, 
43-44, 53, 126; illus., 34-35, 126-127, 130 (See also 
Woman Officer Candidate Course) 

Woman Officer Training Class, Women Marines 
Detachment, MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 

Woman Officer Training Detachment (1949-1955), 
MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125, 129, 145, 156, 182, 
190-192 (See also Woman Officer School) 

Woman Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD, Parris Is- 
land, South Carolina, 10, 106, 109, HI, 117, 
123-124, 148-149, 155, 167, 177, 182-186, 190, 
192-193; illus., 178 (See also 3d Recruit Training 
Battalion; Woman Recruit Training Command) 

Woman Recruit Training Command, MCRD, Parris 
Island, South Carolina, 107, 109, 124 (See also 3d 
Recruit Training Battalion; Woman Recruit Train- 
ing Battalion) 

Woman Reserve Liaison Officer, 101 

Womanpower, 7, 16, 100 

Women in the Air Force (WAFs), 18, 69, 145 

Women Marines (WMs), 25-27 (See also Designation 
of Women Marines) 

Women Marines Association (WMA), 43, 129, 152, 
161, 178, 180 

Women Marines Detachment (1958-1965), MCS, 
Quantico, Virginia, 10, 68, 125, 148, 185 (See also 
Woman Officer School) 

Women Marines Training Detachment (1955-1958), 
MCS, Quantico, Virginia, 125 (See also Woman 
Officer School) 

Women Officers' Quarters (WOQ), MCRD, Parris Is- 
land, South Carolina, 31 

Women Reserve Administration Platoon, Detroit, 
Michigan, 10 

Women Reserves (WRs), 1-3, 5-8, 11, 13, 15, 21, 
23-25, 28, 33-34, 36, 39-40, 42-44, 101, 109, 182, 
187, 190 (See also Marine Corps Women Reserves) 

Women's Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948, An, 
145, 183 (See also Women's Armed Services In- 
tegration Act of 1948) 

Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, v, 
15-19, 23, 26-27, 37, 60, 62, 153, 155, 189, 192 

Women's Army Corps (WACs), 3, 15-17, 69, 76, 164, 
190 

Women's Medical Service Corps, 145 

Women's Reserve, 3-6, 15, 39 (See also Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve) 

Women's Reserve Company, 11, 39 



250 



A HISTORY OF THE WOMEN MARINES, 1946-1977 



Women's Reserve Officer Training School, Mount 

Holyoke, Massachusetts, 169, 190-191 
Women's Reserve Platoons (WR Platoons), 10, 39, 

40-49, 53, 187, 190 

WR Platoon, 1st Infantry Battalion, USMCR, Fort 

Schuyler, New York, 42 

WR Platoon, 2d Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Boston, Massachusetts, 40, 47-48, 51, 59#, 65 
WR Platoon, 3d Infantry Battalion, USMCR, St. 

Louis, Missouri, 42-43, 49 
WR Platoon, 4th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, Min- 
neapolis, Minnesota, 42, 45, 50 
WR Platoon, 105mm Howitzer Battalion, USMCR, 

Kansas City, Missouri, 40 

WR Platoon, 5th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Washington, D.C., 42-43, 47-48, 60; illus., 41 
WR Platoon, 6th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 41, 48 

WR Platoon, 9th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Chicago, Illinois, 42 

WR Platoon, 11th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Seattle, Washington, 42, 53 

WR Platoon, 12th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, 42, 48 
WR Platoon, 13th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, Los 

Angeles, California, 42, 186 

WR Platoon, 17th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, 

Detroit, Michigan, 43; illus., 43-44 

WR Platoon, 23d 155mm Howitzer Battalion, 

USMCR, Dallas, Texas, 43 
Women's Volunteer Training Units (VTUs), 7-11 
VTU (WR), Atlanta, Georgia, 11 
VTU (WR), Baltimore, Maryland, 10 
VTU 1-1 (WR), Boston Massachusetts, 8-10, 40, 65 
VTU (WR), Chicago, Illinois, 11 
VTU (WR), Indianapolis, Indiana, 11 
VTU (WR), Kansas City, Missouri, 11 
VTU (WR), Los Angeles, California, 11, 186 
VTU (WR), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 11 
VTU (WR), Minneapolis, Minnesota, 11 
VTU (WR), New Orleans, Louisiana, 11 
VTU 3-1 (WR), New York, New York, 7, 10 
VTU (WR), Oakland, California, 11 
VTU 4-4 (WR), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 10, 41 



(See also WR Platoon, 6th Infantry Battalion, 

USMCR) 

VTU (WR), Portland, Oregon, 11 

VTU (WR), Rochester, New York, 11 

VTU (WR), St. Louis, Missiour, 11 

VTU 11-2 (WR), San Diego, California, 10-11 

VTU 12-4 (WR), San Francisco, California, 10 

VTU 13-12 (WR), Seattle, Washington, 8 

VTU (WR), Washington, D.C., 11 

Wood, CWO Ruth L., Ill, 145; illus., 126, 149 

Woodwind Quintet, U.S. Marine Band, illus., 97 

Woodworth, GySgt Lea E., 78-79 

Woolger, TSgt Laura H., 67-68 

Woolman, Capt Marjorie J., 42, 103 

Worcester, Massachusetts, 102, 104 

World War I Marinettes, 174, 180; illus., 154 

World War II, v, l,6», 7, 10, 12, 16, 19,21-23, 25, 
28, 36, 40, 42, 45-48, 50, 53, 57, 59-61, 64-65, 
74, 88, 91, 94, 106«, 109, 113, 124, 141, 148, 
157-158, 162, 164, 166-167, 170, 171, 174-175, 
182-184, 186, 188-189, 191#, 193, 195; illus., Ill, 
177 

Wrenn, LtCol Jenny, 71, 76-77, 89, 160, 177; illus., 
178 

Wright, SSgt Dyane, 85 

Wright, Sgt Kathleen, 82 

Wright, Cpl Nancy, 94; illus., 96 

Wuerch, Cpl Ronelle, 81 

Yale University, 191 

Yanics, SSgt Vickie J., 95 

Yankton, South Dakota, 186 

Yemessee, South Carolina, 113 

Yeoman Course, San Diego, California, 57 

Young, Cliff, 86; illus., 84 

Young, IstLt Phyllis J., 53 

Young, LCpl Sheryl L., 171-172; illus., 172 

Zabriskie, Sgt May E., 29 
Zaudtke, 2dLt Patricia M., 93 
Zimmer, Cpl Barbara A., 79 
Zimmerman, PFC Dawn, 48 
Zito, Frank Jr., 177-178 
Zumwalt, Adm Elmo R. Jr., 89 



The device reproduced on the back cover is 
the oldest military insignia in continuous use 
in the United States. It first appeared, as 
shown here, on Marine Corps buttons adopt- 
ed in 1804. With the stars changed to five 
points this device has continued on Marine 
Corps buttons to the present day.